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Sponsored by the OU President's Office, CBN, & the Sam Noble Oklahoma Museum of Natural History

Larry Young

Larry J. Young


William P. Timmie Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Emory University

Chair, Division of Behavioral Neuroscience, Yerkes National Primate Research Center



7 PM, Tuesday, November 30, Sam Noble Oklahoma Museum of Natural History, 2401 Chautauqua Ave., Norman, OK 73072

Dr. Young will discuss recent discoveries on the genetic and brain mechanisms underlying pair bonding in a monogamous rodent, the prairie vole. He will then discuss the remarkable parallels in the role of these same systems in regulating human relationships. He will discuss how these discoveries may lead to new treatment strategies for autism spectrum disorders and other psychiatric conditions characterized by impairments in social behavior.

Dr. Young is a William P. Timmie Professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at the Emory University School of Medicine, and Division Chief for the Division of Behavioral Neuroscience and Psychiatric Disorders at Yerkes National Primate Research Center. Dr. Young received his undergraduate degree in biochemistry at the University of Georgia and earned his Ph.D. in the Department of Zoology at the University of Texas in Austin. Dr. Young received his post-doctoral training with Dr. Thomas Insel in the Department of Psychiatry at Emory University.

The goal of Dr. Young’s research is to understand how genetic, cellular and neurobiological mechanisms regulate complex social behavior, including social cognition and social bonding. His research focuses heavily on the roles of the neuropeptides oxytocin and vasopressin in regulating the neural processing of social signals and social attachment. Dr. Young uses a comparative neuroethological approach to investigate the nature of social bonding in highly affiliative and socially monogamous prairie voles. His work incorporates a comprehensive genetic approach that includes genetic manipulation of both mice and prairie voles. This work has led to the development of neural model of social bonding which shares many features with addiction. More recently Dr. Young has developed behavioral paradigms that are useful for screening drugs that enhance social cognition, and is developing novel strategies for drug discovery for treating social deficits in psychiatric disorders such as autism spectrum disorder and schizophrenia.