Prairie Voles. Specifically, in her lab, Donaldson studies prairie voles — small, cuddly animals that mate for life. What Do Quarantine And Voles Have In Common? The study could lead to important therapies for autism, depression and other mental health problems. Proceeds from every purchase go to support the news and music you love. Here are some amorous animals who mate for life Prairie Voles. She discovered this by first injecting the voles with a virus that would make the cells in the part of the brain called the nucleus accumbens — a region of your brain associated with pleasure — light up when they were choosing to spend time with their partner. When a male and female vole interact for extended periods of time, the prefrontal cortex increases the activity of the nucleus accumbens, the brain’s reward system. Bonded albatross pair caring for their chick. Go to shop.cpr.org. The Lookout daily email brings you a closer look at the issues that affect you with a rundown of important fact-based reporting — with a side of Colorado flavor. “If you think about this from a human perspective, our social bonds are some of the most important things that we have,” Donaldson said. It takes a good day’s drive to cover Colorado, but we’ll help you do it in a few minutes each morning. Zoe Donaldson’s lab at CU Boulder studies pair bonds. The existing research suggests an interaction between chemicals, such as oxytocin and dopamine, and brain regions, including the prefrontal cortex, leads to these lifelong bonds. When a male and female vole interact for extended periods of time, the prefrontal cortex increases the activity of the nucleus accumbens, the brain’s reward system. This rodent species is monogamous, with partners forming lifelong bonds. The committed couples listed below tend to mate for life. The decision to engage in affiliative behaviors, such as cuddling and mating, strengthens the animals’ bond and increases overall pleasure for both voles. Image credits: theNerdPatrol Voles are one of the species in the 5 percent of the mammals, including humans, that do this. Studies have found that prairie vole brains respond differently to the chemicals released during social bonding and mating than other voles. Scientists have known since the late 1970s that voles seek out and want to be with the same partner for life. Bald eagles 9. “Prairie voles were critical to our team’s findings because studying pair bonding in humans has been traditionally difficult,” said Dr. Elizabeth Amadei, a co-lead author on the research. Copyright 2020 National Primate Research Centers - All Rights Reserved. Many bird species mate for life, but albatross take things up a notch by learning advanced moves to keep the romance alive with their mate. © 2020 Colorado Public Radio. Cockroaches That, however, wasn’t enough information for this team that wants to understand the specific neural process and neural networks. Since 2015, she’s been doing just that. That “why” is exactly what researchers at the Yerkes National Primate Research Center at Emory University want to understand. These voles are used as models to help understand mating and monogamy in humans. "So, what happens when you lose someone? According to Dr. Larry Young, co-author, director of the Emory Conte Center and chief of the Behavioral Neuroscience and Psychiatric Disorders Division at Yerkes, “this discovery is just part of the larger effort to understand how brain circuits works during natural social behaviors. “When I say pair bonds I mean they’re an extreme example of the types of bonds we form as human beings,” she explained. “Being virtual just doesn’t have the same zing to it,” she laughed. Prairie vole pairs mate and raise their young together. Transplant Biology & Regenerative Medicine. Voles are one of the species in the 5 percent of the mammals, including humans, that do this.

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