Dr. Elizabeth Hammock
Assistant Professor of Psychology & Neuroscience
- PDB B221
- We use genetic, molecular, cellular, and behavioral techniques to understand the neurobiological mechanisms of social and affective behaviors in developing and mature mammals. Some Big Questions in our lab: How are social brains built? How does nurturing care-giving impact the developing brain? How does social-emotional neglect affect brain development? What are the mechanics of gene x environment interactions? Currently, our work focuses on oxytocin and vasopressin in rodent models of experience-dependent developmental plasticity. Our goal is to contribute to the understanding of molecular and cellular mechanisms underlying the interaction between life experience and genetic variation. Such knowledge should facilitate the development of more effective intervention strategies used to promote better outcomes in individuals with atypical development and adverse early experiences.
- Current Research
- Do developmentally transient neocortical oxytocin receptors shape experience-dependent development? What is/are the role(s) of oxytocin receptors in the neonatal oronasal cavity? What do neocortical vasopressin 1a receptors do in the neonatal brain? Are there peripheral biomarkers of mental illness/health in development? How does sensitive period social neglect shape neocortical development? Design and 3D printing of custom research tools.
- Recent Publications
Chu C, Hammock EA, Joiner TE (2020). Unextracted plasma oxytocin levels decrease following in-laboratory social exclusion in young adults with a suicide attempt history. J Psychiatr Res, 173-181. PubMed Chu C, Hom MA, Gallyer AJ, Hammock EAD, Joiner TE (2019). Insomnia predicts increased perceived burdensomeness and decreased desire for emotional support following an in-laboratory social exclusion paradigm. J Affect Disord, 432-440. PubMed Greenwood MA, Hammock EA (2019). Oxytocin Receptor Binding Sites in the Periphery of the Neonatal Prairie Vole. Front Neurosci, 474. PubMed Jones CE, Opel RA, Kaiser ME, Chau AQ, Quintana JR, Nipper MA, Finn DA, Hammock EAD, Lim MM (2019). Early-life sleep disruption increases parvalbumin in primary somatosensory cortex and impairs social bonding in prairie voles. Sci Adv, . PubMed Tabbaa M, Hammock EA (2019). Orally administered oxytocin alters brain activation and behaviors of pre-weaning mice. Horm Behav, 118:104613. PubMed Vaidyanathan R, Hammock EA (2019). Oxytocin receptor gene loss influences expression of the oxytocin gene in C57BL/6j mice in a sex- and age-dependent manner. J Neuroendocrinol, 32(2):e12821. PubMed Hammock EAD (2018). Oxytocin and vasopressin systems in the development of social behavior. Routledge International Handbook of Social Neuroendocrinology, 772. Greenwood MA, Hammock EA (2017). Oxytocin receptor binding sites in the periphery of the neonatal mouse. PLoS One, e0172904. PubMed Hammock EAD (2017). Oxytocin and plasticity of social behavior. The Oxford Handbook of Developmental Neural Plasticity, . Vaidyanathan R, Hammock EA (2017). Oxytocin receptor dynamics in the brain across development and species. Dev Neurobiol, 77(2):143-157. PubMed Hammock EA (2015). Developmental Perspectives on Oxytocin and Vasopressin. Neuropsychopharmacology, 40(1):24-42. PubMed