Dr. Elizabeth Hammock
AssociateProfessor of Psychology & Neuroscience
- 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
Gnanadesikan GE, Hammock EAD, Tecot SR, Carter CS, MacLean EL (2021). Specificity of plasma oxytocin immunoassays: A comparison of commercial assays and sample preparation techniques using oxytocin knockout and wildtype mice. Psychoneuroendocrinology, 132:105368. PubMed Makhanova A, McNulty JK, Eckel LA, Nikonova L, Bartz JA, Hammock EAD (2021). CD38 is associated with bonding-relevant cognitions and relationship satisfaction over the first 3 years of marriage. Sci Rep, 11(1):2965. PubMed 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 Day KR, Coleman A, Greenwood MA, Hammock EAD (2020). AVPR1A distribution in the whole C57BL/6J mouse neonate. Sci Rep, 10(1):14512. PubMed Newmaster KT, Nolan ZT, Chon U, Vanselow DJ, Weit AR, Tabbaa M, Hidema S, Nishimori K, Hammock EAD, Kim Y (2020). Quantitative cellular-resolution map of the oxytocin receptor in postnatally developing mouse brains. Nat Commun, 11(1):1885. PubMed Vaidyanathan R, Schaller F, Muscatelli F, Hammock EAD (2020). Colocalization of Oxtr with Prader-Willi syndrome transcripts in the trigeminal ganglion of neonatal mice. Hum Mol Genet, 29(12):2065-2075. 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