Findings by Professor Trainor & Dr. Emily Wright Published in PNAS

Professor Brian Trainor, former graduate student Emily Wright, Ph.D. (shown in photo), and their collaborators report exciting new findings that testosterone is a key hormone that drives gender-based differences in responses to social stress in mice, in a new study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS). The study encompassed six separate experiments with mice to isolate what changes in the brain drive these differences between males and females.

“This research shows how the body’s hormones shape the complex interplay between the brain’s circuitry and behavioral responses to stress,” said Brian Trainor, a professor of psychology in the College of Letters and Science at UC Davis and the study’s corresponding author. Alex Russell reports details on these recent findings here:

Professor Trainor studies the effects of stress on the brain and behavior. One line of research investigates how oxytocin acts in different brain regions to regulate social approach and social vigilance, a behavior related to social anxiety. A second line of research investigates how adolescent development programs neural mechanisms of behavior related to anxiety.