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

Neural mechanisms of social cognition and bonding  

Previous work has shown that the glutamate agonist, D-cycloserine, a drug that has been used in clinical trials, facilitates social bond formation in prairie voles. Prairie voles are an ideal animal model for investigating the brain mechanisms that regulate affiliative behavior and social bonding. The goal of this project is to investigate the interaction of the neurotransmitters glutamate and oxytocin in social cognition and social bonding in prairie voles. The study will determine whether combining D-cycloserine with oxytocin has a synergistic effect on the formation of partner preference in social bonding behavior. This research will determine whether enhanced oxytocin and glutamate signaling in the brain could be an effective treatment for the disruption in social cognition in autism. Project Status


Funder National Institutes of Health
Fiscal Year Funding $43,907.00
Project Number 5P51RR000165-49
Principal Investigator Young, Larry
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 Emory University
State/Country Georgia
Web Link 1 Neural mechanisms of social cognition and bonding (External web link)
Web Link 2 No URL available.
Web Link 3 No URL available.
History/Related Projects Neural mechanisms of social cognition and bonding | $43,862.00 | 2010 | 5P51RR000165-50
Neural mechanisms of social cognition and bonding - NIH | $28,536.00 | 2008 | P51RR000165-48