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Veenema Alexa H Veenema
Associate Professor
Ph.D. University of Groningen, the Netherlands, Neuroscience 2003
Masters University of Groningen, the Netherlands, Biology 1997
Primary Program: Behavioral Neuroscience
212 Giltner
(517) 353-1434

Research Statement

Our lab explores the neural basis of social behavior. Specifically, our research focuses on understanding the roles of the neuropeptides vasopressin and oxytocin (as well as opioids and orexin) in regulating social behavior (such as social play, social novelty-seeking, social recognition, social investigation, and sociosexual motivation) and how this is modulated by sex, age, and early life stress. We use rats as model organisms and employ a combination of behavioral, molecular, biochemical, and pharmacological techniques to address our research questions.

Full list of our publications: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed?term=veenema%20ah 


Google Scholar Citations: https://scholar.google.com/citations?user=rCQu5AUAAAAJ&hl=en

Research Publications    
2016Smith CJ, Poehlmann ML, Li S, Ratnaseelan AM, Bredewold R, Veenema AH. Age and sex differences in oxytocin and vasopressin V1a receptor binding densities in the rat brain: focus on the social decision-making network. Brain Struct Funct. 2016 Jul 7. [Epub ahead of print]
2016Varian BJ, Poutahidis T, DiBenedictis BT, Levkovich T, Ibrahim Y, Didyk E, Shikhman L, Cheung HK, Hardas A, Ricciardi CE, Kolandaivelu K, Veenema AH, Alm EJ, Erdman SE.Microbial lysate upregulates host oxytocin. Brain Behav Immun. 2016 Nov 5. [Epub ahead of print]
2016Dumais KM, Alonso AG, Bredewold R, Veenema AH. Role of the oxytocin system in amygdala subregions in the regulation of social interest in male and female rats. Neuroscience. 2016 Aug 25;330:138-49.
2016Dumais KM, Alonso AG, Immormino MA, Bredewold R, Veenema AH. Involvement of the oxytocin system in the bed nucleus of the stria terminalis in the sex-specific regulation of social recognition. Psychoneuroendocrinology. 2016 Feb;64:79-88.
2016Dumais KM, Veenema AH. Vasopressin and oxytocin receptor systems in the brain: Sex differences and sex-specific regulation of social behavior. Front Neuroendocrinol. 2016 Jan;40:1-23.
2015Ferris CF, Yee JR, Kenkel WM, Dumais KM, Moore K, Veenema AH, Kulkarni P, Perkybile AM, Carter CS. Distinct BOLD Activation Profiles Following Central and Peripheral Oxytocin Administration in Awake Rats. Front Behav Neurosci. 2015 Sep 17;9:245.
2015Smith CJ, Wilkins KB, Mogavero JN, Veenema AH. Social Novelty Investigation in the Juvenile Rat: Modulation by the µ-Opioid System. J Neuroendocrinol. 2015 Oct;27(10):752-64.
2015Bredewold R, Schiavo JK, van der Hart M, Verreij M, Veenema AH. Dynamic changes in extracellular release of GABA and glutamate in the lateral septum during social play behavior in juvenile rats: Implications for sex-specific regulation of social play behavior. Neuroscience. 2015 Oct 29;307:117-27.
2014Bredewold R, Smith CJ, Dumais KM, Veenema AH. Sex-specific modulation of juvenile social play behavior by vasopressin and oxytocin depends on social context. Front Behav Neurosci. 2014 Jun 16;8:216.
2013Veenema AH, Bredewold R, De Vries GJ. Sex-specific modulation of juvenile social play by vasopressin. Psychoneuroendocrinology. 2013 Nov;38(11):2554-61.