Areas of Interest:
The focus of my research program is determining how steroid hormones work in the brain and influence behavior. My research primarily has focused on non-traditional or "non-genomic" actions of steroid hormones (termed neurosteroids) and their role in mediating reproductive behavior in rodents. Because hormones are essential for mating, we have used reproductive behavior as an indication of the effectiveness of different experimental hormone manipulations. As diverse actions of steroids' mechanisms are revealed through our reproductive behavior experiments, we then examine the role of different actions of steroids on developmental processes (puberty, pregnancy, aging, etc) and in mediating behaviorally-relevant processes, such as anxiety, learning, neuroprotection, throughout the lifespan. As such, our research has made important contributions to understanding sex differences and the role of hormones in the etiology, exacerbation and/or treatment of many clinically-relevant conditions including depression, anxiety, schizophrenia, Alzheimer's disease and epilepsy. Specific research interests follow.
Sex Differences in Social, Cognitive, & Affective Behavior
Hormonal Influences in Social, Cognitive, & Affective Behavior