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Karli Watson, PhD

Karli Watson, PhD

The Neurobiology of Primate Social Behavior


May 7, 2012, 4:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.


Karli Watson, PhD

Postdoctoral Fellow, Department of Cell Biology, Duke University, Durham, North Carolina


Fralin Biomedical Research Institute, Room 1059, 2 Riverside Circle, Roanoke
2 Riverside Circle, Roanoke, VA 24016

Human and nonhuman primates alike are profoundly social. The ability to navigate a dynamic social environment therefore determines, in large part, the adaptive success of each individual. When social skills are compromised in humans, as in psychiatric disorders such as autism and anorexia nervosa, the result can be devastating. Dr. Watson will discuss the neural, genetic, and pathological mechanisms that account for variation in social behavior in both human and nonhuman primates. Specifically, she will explore the role of primate orbitofrontal cortex neurons in representing social and nonsocial rewards in a simple decision-making task; demonstrate how genetic polymorphisms that regulate serotonin signaling influence individual behavioral variation in response to social stimuli; and present data illustrating deficits in social cognition and attention in women with anorexia nervosa. Ongoing work seeks to understand the neural basis of social behavior and the underlying interoceptive processes, as well as the clinical impairments that occur when these systems are compromised.

Additional Details

This is a free event. The host is Michael Friedlander, PhD. For more information, please call 540-526-2070, or send an e-mail.

Map and Parking

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