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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.

Representative Publications:

•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.