Sex, drugs, and violence: Neuromodulation of attachment and conflict in voles

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Abstract

Prairie voles (Microtus ochrogaster) are a rodent species that display socially monogamous pair-bonds, a behavior illustrated by several types of social interactions such as mating-induced partner preference, selective aggression toward conspecific strangers, and bi-parental care. Therefore, this species has provided an excellent opportunity for the study of pair-bonding and its underlying neurochemical mechanisms. This chapter discusses the utility of this unique rodent in the study of attachment and conflict, and reviews recent findings illustrating the neuromodulatory mechanisms underlying mating-induced partner preference and aggression. Finally, implications of research using this animal model in human mental health are also discussed.

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Gobrogge, K. L. (2014). Sex, drugs, and violence: Neuromodulation of attachment and conflict in voles. Current Topics in Behavioral Neurosciences, 17, 229–264. https://doi.org/10.1007/7854_2013_264

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