Behavioral and translational neuroscience

Using a combination of traditional behavioral testing, modern manipulation methods, and advanced imaging, our research mainly focuses on the neurobiological basis of behavior, both in physiological and pathological circumstances.

Our research group consists of researchers with a variety of backgrounds. Since summer 2019, the group consists of two teams: Snoerenlab and McCutcheonlab.

News

New paper: Too little protein changes dopamine release in the brain

Getting enough protein in our food is crucial for health and development. When we are still growing this protein is especially important. In this study, we looked at how inadequate dietary protein affects brain function both when rats were adults and during their adolescence. We used a recording technique called fast-scan cyclic voltammetry, and saw that low protein diets affected the release of dopamine, an essential neurotransmitter for motivation and learning. Interestingly, the consequence of the low protein diet differed depending on the age of the rats and had stronger effects in adolescent animals than in adults. This research, published as open access in  Neuropsychopharmacology , highlights the vulnerability of the brain to dietary deficiencies during development.

19.08.2020

New paper: Rats show prosocial behavior in a natural setting

Consolation behavior is a type of prosocial behavior that is aimed at an individual in distress. Typically, it involves physical closeness and contact, which has a calming effect on the distressed individual. In our society, it is behavior that we easily recognize, but consolation is not a purely human phenomenon: chimpanzees, dogs, elephants and prairie voles are some of the animals that console each other when the going gets tough. Based on our latest research, published in the journal Physiology and Behavior, we might be able to add rats to the list of animals that are capable of consoling each other.

27.04.2020

New paper: Are the kids alright? The effects of antidepressant use during pregnancy

When pregnant women get depressed, they often get treated with the antidepressant fluoxetine. Using this antidepressant is generally safe and can be necessary to lessen the effects of depression. Still, it has been difficult to find out if this drug has damaging long-term effects on the children of these mothers. In our latest work, we have found that adult rats behave differently when their mothers were given fluoxetine during pregnancy and breastfeeding. Social behavior and coping with stress are types of behavior that appear to be changed. The findings are published in the journal Neuropharmacology.

30.03.2020

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The group:
Eelke Snoeren Group Leader
James McCutcheon Professor
Roy Heijkoop Lab manager
Patty Huijgens PhD student
Jaume Ferrer Lalanza Postdoc
Former members
Indrek Heinla Postdoc
Jesper Solheim Johansen Profesjonstudent
Ole Christian Sylte Profesjonstudent
Jasmin Wilhelmsen Bachelor student
Aslaug Angelsen Bachelor student
Thor-Arne Sørlie Bachelor student
Jan Hegstad M. Psych.
Bjørn Skagen M. Psych.
Danielle Houwing Guest PhD student