Project Detail
Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee (IACC) logo
Office of Autism Research Coordination (OARC) logo

Dissecting the neural control of social attachment  

Social attachment behaviors such as marriage, family ties, and friendships are the glue that bind human communities. Most patients with mental illness often present with a breakdown of social ties, which can be very difficult to heal. Voles are small rodents that form enduring social relationships with a striking resemblance to those observed in humans. As in humans, the neuropeptides vasopressin and oxytocin are critical for the formation of social ties in voles. The researchers in this study will develop novel genetic technologies in this animal model in order to understand how the brain controls social ties. This experimental model may prove extremely valuable to understanding how social attachments are regulated in health and in illness and to design effective therapies for restoring the ability to form stable social relationships. Project Status


Funder National Institutes of Health
Fiscal Year Funding $772,500.00
Project Number 1DP1OD006425-01
Principal Investigator Shah, Nirao
Received ARRA Funding? No
Strategic Plan Question Question 4: Which Treatments And Interventions Will Help? (Interventions)
Strategic Plan Objective Green dot: Objective has greater than or equal to the recommended funding. 4SB. Standardize and validate at least 20 model systems (e.g., cellular and/or animal) that replicate features of ASD and will allow identification of specific molecular targets or neural circuits amenable to existing or new interventions by 2012. IACC Recommended Budget: $75,000,000 over 5 years.
Federal or Private? Federal
Institution University of California, San Francisco
State/Country California
Web Link 1 Dissecting the neural control of social attachment (External web link)
Web Link 2 No URL available.
Web Link 3 No URL available.
History/Related Projects Dissecting the neural control of social attachment | $772,500.00 | 2010 | 5DP1OD006425-02