Our research focuses on rodent models studying functional neuronal dynamics to challenges of homeostatic control. The study if and how individuals cope with environmental challenges is at the core of our research, in particular challenges that come from the social environment of the individual. The study of social interactions and how these can result in adaptation and/or maladaptation in the neural circuitry involved in the regulation of social behavior is very relevant if one considers that psychosocial stressors are frequently the cause of psychopathologies like anxiety and depression in humans. There are many animal models applied to unravel mechanisms involved in successful or failing adaptation to stressors. Stressors that have a high face validity with respect to the stressors that both humans and animals face are ecologically relevant models like the psychosocial stress resulting from social defeat as modeled in the so-called resident-intruder paradigm. Also the study of consequences social interactions in colony-like structures with both males and females housed together resulting in individuals that occupy different positions in the social hierarchy, such as dominant, subdominant and subordinate, are very relevant from a translational point of view.


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