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  • Karen Bales

    Karen Bales


        University of California, Davis
    Phone: 530.754.5890
    Office: 102C Young Hall


    Curriculum Vitae


    Lab Website

    Research Interests

    Dr. Bales studies the physiology, neurobiology, and development of social bonding,  particularly in monogamous species.  She works with prairie voles (Microtus ochrogaster), a species in which males and females form pair-bonds, and both males and older offspring help care for infants.  In particular, she is interested in the role of neuropeptides such as oxytocin and vasopressin in these behaviors, as well as the effects of early experiences on the development of these behaviors.  Her research has emphasized the role of oxytocin in male parental care, a behavior that was previously attributed to vasopressin.

    In addition, Dr. Bales collaborates with Drs. Sally Mendoza and Bill Mason on the physiology of social bonding in a monogamous primate, the titi monkey.