Juli Wade

Michigan State University, East Lansing, Michigan, United States

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Publications (108)425.25 Total impact

  • Yu Ping Tang, Juli Wade
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    ABSTRACT: This study investigated relationships among disruption of normal vocal learning, brain derived neurotrophic faction (BDNF), and the morphology of song nuclei in juvenile male zebra finches. The tracheosyringeal nerves were bilaterally transected at post-hatching day 20-25, so that the animals could not properly develop species-typical vocalizations. BDNF protein and the projection from HVC to the robust nucleus of the arcopallium (RA) were quantified during the sensorimotor integration phase of song development. The manipulation decreased the number of BDNF cells in HVC and RA, the volume of these areas defined by BDNF labeling, and the projection from HVC to RA. BDNF was not affected in Area X or the lateral magnocellular nucleus of the anterior nidopallium (LMAN). Thus, inhibition of a bird's ability to practice and/or to hear its own typically developing song during development specifically diminishes BDNF expression in cortical motor regions required for song production.
    Neuroscience letters. 09/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: Lizards, which are amniote vertebrates like humans, are able to lose and regenerate a functional tail. Understanding the molecular basis of this process would advance regenerative approaches in amniotes, including humans. We have carried out the first transcriptomic analysis of tail regeneration in a lizard, the green anole Anolis carolinensis, which revealed 326 differentially expressed genes activating multiple developmental and repair mechanisms. Specifically, genes involved in wound response, hormonal regulation, musculoskeletal development, and the Wnt and MAPK/FGF pathways were differentially expressed along the regenerating tail axis. Furthermore, we identified 2 microRNA precursor families, 22 unclassified non-coding RNAs, and 3 novel protein-coding genes significantly enriched in the regenerating tail. However, high levels of progenitor/stem cell markers were not observed in any region of the regenerating tail. Furthermore, we observed multiple tissue-type specific clusters of proliferating cells along the regenerating tail, not localized to the tail tip. These findings predict a different mechanism of regeneration in the lizard than the blastema model described in the salamander and the zebrafish, which are anamniote vertebrates. Thus, lizard tail regrowth involves the activation of conserved developmental and wound response pathways, which are potential targets for regenerative medical therapies.
    PLoS ONE 01/2014; 9(8):e105004. · 3.53 Impact Factor
  • Yu Ping Tang, Juli Wade
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    ABSTRACT: The zebra finch song system provides an excellent model to study the mechanisms underlying the development of sex difference in brain structure and function. Only male zebra finches sing and the brain nuclei controlling song learning and production are considerably larger than in females. Sexual differentiation may in part be regulated by estrogen, but other molecules including neurotrophic factors likely also affect masculinization. Brain derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) plays crucial roles in numerous aspects of vertebrate brain development and function, including neurogenesis, cell survival, growth of axonal projections, synaptogenesis and processes linked to learning and memory. The current study investigated expression of BDNF protein in juvenile males and females at four ages, as well as in adults, to begin to evaluate the potential roles of endogenous BDNF in particular stages of structural and functional development of the song system. In both HVC and the robust nucleus of the arcopallium (RA), males had more BDNF+ cells than females. The number of immunopositive cells increased in males and decreased in females as they matured, in a pattern generally consistent with a role for BDNF in sensorimotor integration of song learning. In addition, in HVC (but not RA) the ratio of mature BDNF (mBDNF) compared to its precursor proBDNF was greater in adult males than those at post-hatching day 25, indicating a region-specific shift in the relative availability of the two forms. Collectively, the data suggest that changes in BDNF protein expression across development may be associated with song system maturation, particularly during the sensorimotor integration of masculine vocalizations.
    Neuroscience 08/2013; · 3.12 Impact Factor
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    Gregory F Ball, Juli Wade
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    ABSTRACT: This article is part of a Special Issue "Puberty and Adolescence". Studies of birds and reptiles have provided many basic insights into the neuroendocrine control of reproductive processes. This research has elucidated mechanisms regulating both early development, including sexual differentiation, and adult neuroendocrine function and behavior. However, phenomena associated with the transition into sexual maturation (puberty) have not been a focus of investigators working on species in these taxonomic classes. Research is complicated in birds and reptiles by a variety of factors, including what can be extended times to maturation, the need to reach particular body size regardless of age, and environmental conditions that can support or inhibit endocrine responses. However, careful selection of model systems, particularly those with available genetic tools, will lead to important comparative studies that can elucidate both generalizability and diversity of mechanisms regulating the onset of reproductive maturity.
    Hormones and Behavior 07/2013; 64(2):211-4. · 3.74 Impact Factor
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    Linda M Qi, Juli Wade
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    ABSTRACT: Sex differences in brain and behavior exist across vertebrates, but the molecular factors regulating their development are largely unknown. Songbirds exhibit substantial sexual dimorphisms. In zebra finches, only males sing, and the brain areas regulating song learning and production are much larger in males. Recent data suggest that sex chromosome genes (males ZZ; females ZW) may play roles in sexual differentiation. The present studies tested the hypothesis that a Z-gene, tubulin specific chaperone protein A (TBCA), contributes to sexual differentiation of the song system. This taxonomically conserved gene is integral to microtubule synthesis, and within the song system, its mRNA is specifically increased in males compared to females in the lateral magnocellular nucleus of the anterior nidopallium (LMAN), a region critical for song learning and plasticity. Using in situ hybridization, Western blot analysis, and immunohistochemistry, we observed effects of both age and sex on TBCA mRNA and protein expression. The transcript is increased in males compared to females at three juvenile ages, but not in adults. TBCA protein, both the number of immunoreactive cells and relative concentration in LMAN, is diminished in adults compared to juveniles. The latter was also increased in males compared to females at post-hatching day 25. With double-label immunofluorescence and retrograde tract tracing, we also document that the majority of TBCA+ cells in LMAN are neurons, and that they include RA-projecting cells. These results indicate that TBCA is both temporally and spatially primed to facilitate the development of a sexually dimorphic neural pathway critical for song.
    Neuroscience 05/2013; · 3.12 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The neural song system in zebra finches is highly sexually dimorphic; only males sing and the brain regions controlling song are far larger in males than females. Estradiol (E2) administered during development can partially masculinize both structure and function. However, additional mechanisms, including those through which E2 may act, remain unclear. Male and female zebra finches were treated with E2 or control vehicle from post-hatching days 3 through 25, at which time norepinephrine (NE), dopamine (DA) and serotonin (5-HT) were measured in individual nuclei of the song system. Main effects of sex were not detected. However, E2 increased NE in the robust nucleus of the arcopallium (RA). In HVC (proper name), the hormone decreased 5-HT across the two sexes and increased DA in females only. These effects suggest that, while baseline levels of these neurotransmitters may not contribute to sexually dimorphic development of the song system, they could play specific roles in functions common to both sexes and/or in modification of the song system by exogenous E2.
    Brain research 04/2013; · 2.46 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: During development, male zebra finches learn a song that they eventually use in courtship and defense of nest sites. Norepinephrine (NE) is important for learning and memory in vertebrates, and this neuromodulator and its receptors are present throughout the brain regions that control song learning and production. The present study used the neurotoxin N-(2-Chloroethyl)-N-ethyl-2-bromobenzylamine hydrochloride (DSP4) to reduce brain levels of NE in juvenile males. This manipulation inhibited the development of quality songs, with some birds producing syllables that were unusually long and/or contained frequencies that were predominantly higher than normal. These results suggest that NE is important for the acquisition of typical song.
    Brain research bulletin 11/2012; · 2.18 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Songbirds provide rich natural models for studying the relationships between brain anatomy, behavior, environmental signals, and gene expression. Under the Songbird Neurogenomics Initiative, investigators from 11 laboratories collected brain samples from six species of songbird under a range of experimental conditions, and 488 of these samples were analyzed systematically for gene expression by microarray. ANOVA was used to test 32 planned contrasts in the data, revealing the relative impact of different factors. The brain region from which tissue was taken had the greatest influence on gene expression profile, affecting the majority of signals measured by 18,848 cDNA spots on the microarray. Social and environmental manipulations had a highly variable impact, interpreted here as a manifestation of paradoxical “constitutive plasticity” (fewer inducible genes) during periods of enhanced behavioral responsiveness. Several specific genes were identified that may be important in the evolution of linkages between environmental signals and behavior. The data were also analyzed using weighted gene coexpression network analysis, followed by gene ontology analysis. This revealed modules of coexpressed genes that are also enriched for specific functional annotations, such as “ribosome” (expressed more highly in juvenile brain) and “dopamine metabolic process” (expressed more highly in striatal song control nucleus area X). These results underscore the complexity of influences on neural gene expression and provide a resource for studying how these influences are integrated during natural experience.
    Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 10/2012; 109(Supplement 2):17245-17252. · 9.81 Impact Factor
  • R E Cohen, J Wade
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    ABSTRACT: Neural steroids, as well as the enzymes that produce these hormones, are important for sexual differentiation of the brain during development. Aromatase converts testosterone into oestradiol. 5α-reductase converts testosterone to 5α-dihydrotestosterone and occurs in two isozymes: type 1 (5αR1) and type 2 (5αR2). Each of these enzymes is present in the developing brain in many species, although no work has been carried out examining the expression of all three enzymes in non-avian reptiles with genetic sex determination. In the present study, we evaluated mRNA expression of neural aromatase, 5αR1 and 5αR2, on the day of hatching and at day 50 in one such lizard, the green anole. We describe the distribution of these enzymes throughout the brain and the quantification of mRNA expression in three regions that control adult sexual behaviours: the preoptic area (POA) and ventromedial amygdala (AMY), which are involved in male displays, as well as the ventromedial hypothalamus, which regulates female receptivity. Younger animals had a greater number (POA) and density (AMY) of 5αR1 mRNA expressing cells. We detected no effects of sex or age on aromatase or 5αR2. In comparison with data from adults, the present results support the idea that the green anole forebrain has not completely differentiated by 50 days after hatching and that 5αR1 may play a role in the early development of regions important for masculine function.
    Journal of Neuroendocrinology 04/2012; 24(9):1213-21. · 3.33 Impact Factor
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    Rachel E Cohen, Juli Wade
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    ABSTRACT: Aromatase and 5α-reductase (5αR) catalyze the synthesis of testosterone (T) metabolites: estradiol and 5α-dihydrotestosterone, respectively. These enzymes are important in controlling sexual behaviors in male and female vertebrates. To investigate factors contributing to their regulation in reptiles, male and female green anole lizards were gonadectomized during the breeding and non-breeding seasons and treated with a T-filled or blank capsule. In situ hybridization was used to examine main effects of and interactions among sex, season, and T on expression of aromatase and one isozyme of 5αR (5αR2) in three brain regions that control reproductive behaviors: the preoptic area, ventromedial nucleus of the amygdala and ventromedial hypothalamus (VMH). Patterns of mRNA generally paralleled previous evaluations of intact animals. Although no main effects of T were detected, interactions were present in the VMH. Specifically, the density of 5αR2 expressing cells was greater in T-treated than control females in this region, regardless of season. Among breeding males, blank-treated males had a denser population of 5αR2 positive cells than T-treated males. Overall, T appears to have less of a role in the regulation of these enzymes than in other vertebrate groups, which is consistent with the primary role of T (rather than its metabolites) in regulation of reproductive behaviors in lizards. However, further investigation of protein and enzyme activity levels are needed before specific conclusions can be drawn.
    General and Comparative Endocrinology 02/2012; 176(3):377-84. · 2.82 Impact Factor
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    Yu Ping Tang, Juli Wade
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    ABSTRACT: Mature brain derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) plays critical roles in development of brain structure and function, including neurogenesis, axon growth, cell survival and processes associated with learning. Expression of this peptide is regulated by estradiol (E2). The zebra finch song system is sexually dimorphic - only males sing and the brain regions controlling song are larger and have more cells in males compared to females. Masculinization of this system is partially mediated by E2, and earlier work suggests that BDNF with its high affinity receptor TrkB may also influence this development. The present study evaluated expression of multiple forms of both BDNF and TrkB in the developing song system in juvenile males and females treated with E2 or a vehicle control. Using immunohistochemistry and Western blot analysis, BDNF was detected across the song nuclei of 25-day-old birds. Westerns allowed the pro- and mature forms of BDNF to be individually identified, and proBDNF to be quantified. Several statistically significant effects of sex existed in both the estimated total number of BDNF+ cells and relative concentration of proBDNF, varying across the regions and methodologies. E2 modulated BDNF expression, although the specific nature of the regulation depended on brain region, sex and the technique used. Similarly, TrkB (both truncated and full-length isoforms) was detected by Western blot in the song system of juveniles of both sexes, and expression was regulated by E2. In the context of earlier research on these molecules in the developing song system, this work provides a critical step in describing specific forms of BDNF and TrkB, and how they can be mediated by sex and E2. As individual isoforms of each can have opposing effects on mechanisms, such as cell survival, it will now be important to investigate in depth their specific functions in song system maturation.
    PLoS ONE 01/2012; 7(8):e43687. · 3.53 Impact Factor
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    Juli Wade
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    ABSTRACT: Morphology parallels function on a variety of levels in reproductive circuits in anole lizards, as in many vertebrate groups. For example, across species within the anole genus the muscle fibers regulating extension of a throat fan used in courtship are larger in males than females. Endocrine factors controlling behavior and morphology have been studied in detail in one species, the green anole (Anolis carolinensis). This review briefly describes the results that have been obtained and highlights key areas for future investigation that will provide insights on mechanisms from a comparative perspective.
    General and Comparative Endocrinology 12/2011; 176(3):456-60. · 2.82 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Comparative studies of amniotes have been hindered by a dearth of reptilian molecular sequences. With the genomic assembly of the green anole, Anolis carolinensis available, non-avian reptilian genes can now be compared to mammalian, avian, and amphibian homologs. Furthermore, with more than 350 extant species in the genus Anolis, anoles are an unparalleled example of tetrapod genetic diversity and divergence. As an important ecological, genetic and now genomic reference, it is imperative to develop a standardized Anolis gene nomenclature alongside associated vocabularies and other useful metrics. Here we report the formation of the Anolis Gene Nomenclature Committee (AGNC) and propose a standardized evolutionary characterization code that will help researchers to define gene orthology and paralogy with tetrapod homologs, provide a system for naming novel genes in Anolis and other reptiles, furnish abbreviations to facilitate comparative studies among the Anolis species and related iguanid squamates, and classify the geographical origins of Anolis subpopulations. This report has been generated in close consultation with members of the Anolis and genomic research communities, and using public database resources including NCBI and Ensembl. Updates will continue to be regularly posted to new research community websites such as lizardbase. We anticipate that this standardized gene nomenclature will facilitate the accessibility of reptilian sequences for comparative studies among tetrapods and will further serve as a template for other communities in their sequencing and annotation initiatives.
    BMC Genomics 11/2011; 12:554. · 4.40 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Estrogens are critical for a variety of aspects of brain development and adult processes. These steroids act via receptors within specific tissues. Several estrogen receptors (ER) are thought to exist, including ERα and ERβ, which function via classical, genomic mechanisms. These two ERs are found in a variety of species and are critical to diverse functions, including reproductive behaviors. ERβ was discovered more recently than ERα, and very little work has been done on this receptor in reptiles. Currently no data are available on its distribution in the brain in this vertebrate group. Here, we have cloned ERβ in the green anole lizard, mapped its distribution using in situ hybridization, and quantified expression in three brain areas controlling reproductive behaviors-the preoptic area, ventromedial amygdala (AMY), and ventromedial hypothalamus (VMH). ERβ was detected in discrete areas throughout the anole brain, with high levels in limbic regions and motor nuclei in the brainstem. Females had a greater density of ERβ positive cells in the AMY and VMH than males. While the functional consequences of these differences are not clear, they may result in an increased ability to respond to local levels of estradiol. The present work documents that neural ERβ is distributed similarly in reptilian, rodent and avian species, suggesting that it may perform similar roles. However, more work is necessary to elucidate the function of ERβ in this group.
    Brain research 11/2011; 1430:43-51. · 2.46 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The evolution of the amniotic egg was one of the great evolutionary innovations in the history of life, freeing vertebrates from an obligatory connection to water and thus permitting the conquest of terrestrial environments. Among amniotes, genome sequences are available for mammals and birds, but not for non-avian reptiles. Here we report the genome sequence of the North American green anole lizard, Anolis carolinensis. We find that A. carolinensis microchromosomes are highly syntenic with chicken microchromosomes, yet do not exhibit the high GC and low repeat content that are characteristic of avian microchromosomes. Also, A. carolinensis mobile elements are very young and diverse-more so than in any other sequenced amniote genome. The GC content of this lizard genome is also unusual in its homogeneity, unlike the regionally variable GC content found in mammals and birds. We describe and assign sequence to the previously unknown A. carolinensis X chromosome. Comparative gene analysis shows that amniote egg proteins have evolved significantly more rapidly than other proteins. An anole phylogeny resolves basal branches to illuminate the history of their repeated adaptive radiations.
    Nature 08/2011; 477(7366):587-91. · 38.60 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Recent evidence suggests that sexual dimorphisms in the zebra finch song system and behavior arise due to factors intrinsic to the brain, rather than being solely organized by circulating steroid hormones. The present study examined expression of 10 sex chromosome genes in the song system of 25-day-old zebra finches in an attempt to further elucidate these factors. Increased expression in males was confirmed for nine of the genes by real-time qPCR using cDNA from individual whole telecephalons. In situ hybridization at the same age revealed specific, male-enhanced mRNA for three of the nine genes in one or more song control nuclei. These genes encode tubulin-specific chaperone A, mitochondrial ribosomal protein S27, and a DNA repair protein XPACCH. Based on what is currently known about these proteins' functions and their localization to particular components of the song circuit, we hypothesize that they each may be involved in specific aspects of masculinization.
    Developmental Neurobiology 07/2011; 72(2):199-207. · 4.42 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Recent work in zebra finches suggests that genes and hormones may act together to masculinize the brain. This study tested the effects of exogenous estradiol (E2) on 17β-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase type IV (HSD17B4) and the co-localization of HSD17B4 and androgen receptor (AR) mRNA. We asked three primary questions: First, how does post-hatching E2 treatment affect HSD17B4 mRNA expression in males and females? Second, is this gene expressed in the same cells as AR. Third, if so does E2 modulate co-expression? Female finches implanted with 50 μg of E2 on the third day post-hatching showed a significant increase in the density of cells expressing HSD17B4 and AR in HVC at day 25. Co-localization of AR cells that also expressed HSD17B4 was high across groups (>81%). We found significant sex differences in co-localization in both the HVC and Area X of control animals, with males showing a higher percentage of cells expressing AR mRNA that also expressed HSD17B4 in comparison to females. However, although E2 treatments significantly increased the number of cells expressing HSD17B4 mRNA and AR mRNA in the HVC of females, the percentage of HSD17B4 cells co-expressing AR was reduced in HVC and Area X in E2-treated animals. These results lend support to the hypothesis that genes and hormones may act in concert to modulate the sexually differentiation of the zebra finch song system. Further, the data suggest that a single hormonal mechanism cannot mimic the complex development of male singing behavior and associated song nuclei.
    Brain research 07/2011; 1401:66-73. · 2.46 Impact Factor
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    Y P Tang, J Wade
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    ABSTRACT: The song system of zebra finches differs dramatically between the sexes in terms of both structure and function. Only males sing and the brain regions regulating the learning and production of this behaviour are far more developed in males than females. Mechanisms regulating sexual differentiation likely include both direct genetic and hormonal processes. Expression of both mRNA and the protein product for secretory carrier membrane protein 1 (SCAMP1), a sex chromosome gene, are increased in the brains of juvenile males compared to females. Here we investigated developmental changes in SCAMP1 containing cells in song nuclei and co-localisation with androgen receptor (AR) protein from post-hatching day 25 through adulthood. Almost all SCAMP1 cells co-expressed AR and approximately half of the AR cells expressed SCAMP1 in the HVC and robust nucleus in the arcopallium (RA) of both sexes and in the Area X of males (which could not be clearly defined in females). In HVC and RA, more single and double-labelled cells were detected in males than females overall, and the sex differences increased as animals matured. The results suggest the potential for interaction of these two proteins in regulating development of brain and/or behaviour.
    Journal of Neuroendocrinology 07/2011; 23(7):584-90. · 3.33 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Laboratory studies of reproductive systems have long supported the idea that neural and/or muscular structures used frequently are often enhanced in size. However, field studies integrating behavioral, morphological, and hormonal data are needed to better understand relationships in natural environments. We examined a natural population of green anole lizards (Anolis carolinensis) to determine whether variation in reproductive morphology both within and between the sexes paralleled differences in courtship and copulatory behaviors and circulating testosterone levels. Display rate in males was positively correlated with the sizes of the cartilage supporting the dewlap (a throat fan used in courtship and aggression) and renal sex segments (portions of the kidney that function similarly to the mammalian prostate), but correlated negatively with seminiferous tubule size. Plasma testosterone in males was negatively correlated with display behavior and was not correlated with any measures of morphology. Females, which display rarely, exhibited no relationships between morphology and frequency of behavior. Comparisons between the sexes show that males have consistently larger courtship and copulation morphologies than females, even when accounting for sex differences in body size. The results not only support the idea of relationships between increased function and enhanced structures, but also show the complexity of mechanistic interactions associated with reproductive behavior in wild animals.
    Physiology & Behavior 05/2011; 104(3):437-45. · 3.16 Impact Factor
  • Juli Wade
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    ABSTRACT: Lizards provide a rich opportunity for investigating the mechanisms associated with arousal and the display of motivated behaviors. They exhibit diverse mating strategies and modes of conspecific communication. This review focuses on anole lizards, of which green anoles (Anolis carolinensis) have been most extensively studied. Research from other species is discussed in that context. By considering mechanisms collectively, we can begin to piece together neural and endocrine factors mediating the stimulation of sexual and aggressive behaviors in this group of vertebrates.
    Hormones and Behavior 05/2011; 59(5):637-44. · 3.74 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

2k Citations
425.25 Total Impact Points

Institutions

  • 1996–2014
    • Michigan State University
      • • Department of Psychology
      • • Department of Zoology
      • • Department of Neuroscience
      East Lansing, Michigan, United States
  • 2013
    • Johns Hopkins University
      • Department of Psychological & Brain Sciences
      Baltimore, MD, United States
  • 2010–2011
    • Trinity University
      • Department of Biology
      San Antonio, TX, United States
  • 1994–2010
    • University of California, Los Angeles
      • • Department of Integrative Biology and Physiology
      • • Department of Psychology
      Los Angeles, CA, United States
  • 2005
    • Champalimaud Neuroscience Program
      Lisboa, Lisbon, Portugal
  • 1995
    • University of Southern California
      • Department of Psychology
      Los Angeles, California, United States