Speaker Name(s): John Yeomans, Ph.D.
Description: John Yeomans, Ph.D., Departments of Psychology and Cell and Systems Biology, U of T. Mice communicate by complex ultrasonic songs. Males sing to females for mating, females sing to females for food, and mouse pups sing when separated from their mothers. These songs tell scientists the emotional states of rats and mice, and have been linked with laughter, speech, happiness and sadness in humans. By deleting or adding single genes in mice, the genes needed for pleasure, social communication and perhaps language can be studied. In particular, we have deleted genes needed for the brain transmitters dopamine and acetylcholine to communicate messages for food, sex and drug rewards to brain neural circuits, as an approach to studying attachment, addiction and schizophrenia.