Cues from social partners activate socially responsive neuromodulatory systems, priming brain regions including sensory systems to process these cues appropriately. However, there has been little investigation of serotonergic fluctuations in sensory regions during ongoing social encounters. To address this issue, Sarah Keesom and Laura Hurley, both researchers at Indiana University, used voltammetry to monitor serotonergic fluctuations in an auditory midbrain nucleus, the inferior colliculus, of male mice (Mus musculus) paired with females, and concurrently measured behaviors of both social partners. In this podcast, Editor-in-Chief Bill Yates (University of Pittsburgh) and guest expert Luke Remage-Healey (University of Massachusetts Amherst) join authors Sarah and Laura in an engaging discussion about their recent work on whether serotonergic fluctuations in sensory regions reflect variation within a context like opposite-sex interaction. Could the serotonergic system be a mechanism by which the neurochemical environment of the auditory system is matched to the social milieu? Listen and find out.
Socially induced serotonergic fluctuations in the male auditory midbrain correlate with female behavior during courtship
Sarah M. Keesom, Laura M. Hurley
Journal of Neurophysiology, published April 5, 2016. DOI: 10.1152/jn.00742.2015.