Scott Wersinger, Ph.D.
Adjunct Assistant Professor
Ph.D., Boston University
Office: 355 Park Hall
Phone: (716) 645-0217
Summary of Research Interests:
My broad interest is in the neural and hormonal regulation of social behavior. I am particularly interested in the neural bases of sexually dimorphic behavior such as parental care and aggression. I think about these behaviors from an evolutionary perspective and am consequently very interested in the relationship between genes and behavior. Although my intellectual interests encompass a broad range of species, my current research focuses on social behavior in the mouse. I use mice because they have a very rich repertoire of social behaviors (Yes, really. If you have an hour, ask me about it – I love to talk about my mice.) and because many of the genetic techniques I use are optimized for mice. I have also recently become interested in developing and validating animal models for complex human disorders in which social behavior is disrupted, such as autistic spectrum disorder and schizophrenia.
•Wersinger, S.R., Caldwell, H.K., Christiansen, M., & Young, W.S. (2006). Disruption of the vasopressin 1b receptor gene reduces the attack component of aggressive behavior. Genes, Brain and Behavior.
•Wersinger, S.R., Caldwell, H.K., Martinez, L., Gold, P., Hu, S.-B., & Young, 3rd, W.S. (2007). Vasopressin 1a receptor knockout mice have a subtle olfactory deficit but normal aggression. Genes, Brain and Behavior, 6, 540-551.
•Wersinger, S.R., Kelliher, K.R., Zufall, F., O’Carroll, A.-M., Lolait, S.J., & Young, W.S. (2004). Altered motivation underlies the lack of social preference in male V1b receptor null mice, and is not a result of a defect in odor discrimination. Hormones and Behavior, 46, 638-645.
•Wersinger, S.R., Ginns, E.A., O’Carroll, A.M., Lolait, S.J., & Young, W.S. (2002). The vasopressin V1b receptor is critical for the expression of aggressive behavior in male mice. Molecular Psychiatry, 7, 975-984.
•Wersinger, S.R., & Rissman, E.F. (2000), Dopamine activates masculine sexual behavior independent of the estrogen receptor alpha. Journal of Neuroscience, 20, 4248-4254.
•Wersinger, S.R., & Rissman, E.F. (2000). Oestrogen receptor alpha is essential for female-directed chemo-investigatory behaviour but is not required for the pheromone-induced luteinizing hormone surge in male mice. Journal of Neuroendocrinology, 12, 103-110.
•Wersinger, S.R., & Baum, M.J. (1997). Sexually dimorphic processing of somatosensory and chemosensory inputs to forebrain luteinizing hormone-releasing hormone neurons in mated ferrets. Endocrinology, 138, 1121-1129.
•Wersinger, S.R., & Baum, M.J. (1997). A sex comparison of Fos-like immunoreactivity in tyrosine hydroxylase neurons after mating and exposure to chemosensory cues in the ferret brain. Biology of Reproduction, 56, 1407-1414.