Joe Lonstein vita


PhD, Biopsychology & Behavioral Neuroscience, Rutgers University, 1997
MA, Biopsychology & Behavioral Neuroscience, Rutgers University, 1995
BA, Biology & Psychology, State University of New York at Binghamton, 1992

Research Statement

The focus of research in the Lonstein lab is to better understand the neurobiology of parenting and other social behaviors in mammals. Non-postpartum females of most species do not act very maternally toward infants, although a dramatic change in responding occurs after females are pregnant and their infants are born. Research in the Lonstein lab is devoted to understanding how the hormones of pregnancy and lactation alter neurochemistry in the laboratory rodent brain to promote nurturant behaviors towards infants. A related area of research is devoted to studying how reproductive state and physical contact with offspring postpartum modulate female neurochemistry in ways that affects maternal anxiety. We are particularly interested in how infant contact modulates the maternal noradrenergic, GABAergic and serotonergic systems to suppress the mother's anxiety and optimize her display of caregiving behaviors. Adequate and appropriate maternal responding is critical for the normal development, if not survival, of offspring. Understanding the parental brain, therefore, has clear implications for non-human development as well as for human welfare.

Website: https://sites.google.com/msu.e...

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Selected Publications

  • Holschbach MA, Vitale EM, Lonstein JS.
    Serotonin-specific lesions of the dorsal raphe disrupt maternal aggression and caregiving in postpartum rats.
    2018, Behavioral Brain Research, 348:53-64
  • Grieb ZA, Tierney SM, Lonstein JS.
    Postpartum inhibition of ovarian steroid action increases aspects of maternal caregiving and reduces medial preoptic area progesterone receptor expression in female rats.
    2017, Hormones and Behavior, 96:31-41
  • Pawluski JL, Lonstein JS, Fleming AS.
    The Neurobiology of Postpartum Anxiety and Depression.
    2017, Trends in Neuroscience, 40:106-120
  • Holschbach MA, Lonstein JS.
    Motherhood and infant contact regulate neuroplasticity in the serotonergic midbrain dorsal raphe.
    2017, Psychoneuroendocrinology, 76:97-106
  • Harding KM, Lonstein JS.
    Extensive juvenile "babysitting" facilitates later adult maternal responsiveness, decreases anxiety, and increases dorsal raphe tryptophan hydroxylase-2 expression in female laboratory rats.
    2016, Developmental Psychobiology, 58:492-508
  • Ragan, C.M. & Lonstein, J.S.
    Postpartum sensitivity to the anxiety-modulating effects of offspring contact is associated with females’ previous anxiety and brainstem dopamine-beta-hydroxylase
    2015, Neuroscience, 256:433-444
  • Motta, S.C., Guimares, C.C., Furigo, I.C., Sukikara, M.H., Lonstein, J.S., & Canteras, N.S.
    The ventral premammillary nucleus and the organization of maternal aggressive behavior
    2013, Proceedings of the National Academy of Science, 110:14438-43
  • Smith, C.D., Piasecki, C.C., Weera, M. & Lonstein, J.S.
    Noradrenergic alpha-2 receptor modulators in the ventral bed nucleus of the stria terminalis: effects on anxiety behavior in postpartum and virgin female rats
    2013, Behavioral Neuroscience, 127:582-97
  • Smith, C.D., Holschbach, M.A., Olszewicz, J.E. & Lonstein, J.S.
    Effects of noradrenergic alpha-2 receptor antagonism or noradrenergic lesions in the ventral bed nucleus of the stria terminalis and medial preoptic area on maternal care in female rats
    2012, Psychopharmacology, 224:263-76
  • Miller SM, Piasecki CC, Peabody MF, Lonstein JS.
    GABA(A) receptor antagonism in the ventrocaudal periaqueductal gray increases anxiety in the anxiety-resistant postpartum rat
    2010, Pharmacol Biochem Behav, 95:457-65
  • Miller, S.M. & Lonstein, J.S.
    Dopaminergic projections to the medial preoptic area of postpartum rats
    2009, Neuroscience, 159:1384-96
  • Smith, C.D. & Lonstein, J.S.
    Contact with infants influences anxiety-induced c-fos activity in the postpartum rat brain
    2008, Behavioral Brain Research, 190:193-200
  • Lonstein JS.
    Regulation of anxiety during the postpartum period
    2007, Front Neuroendocrino, 28:115-41
  • more publications