Rodent and human studies of social behaviour and its dysfunctions

Organisers: Christopher Pryce, University of Zurich

Schedule: Thursday 7th June 10:00 - 12:30, G36


For the majority of mammalian species, the social environment includes some of the most salient rewarding and aversive stimuli. This is certainly the case in humans, and therefore the psychopathologies of social behaviour that are common in a number of psychiatric disorders are particularly detrimental to daily functioning and life quality. These include excessive or reduced social motivation, reduced reward valuation of social stimuli, heightened motivation to avoid and withdraw from social stimuli, and fear of social stimuli. These can occur in various psychiatric disorders, including autism, social anxiety disorder, depression, schizophrenia, impulse-control disorder and dementia. In all species, the possibility to measure these translational dimensions of social behaviour accurately and unambiguously is dependent on sophisticated automated hardware and software. Examples of the challenges include continuous monitoring of individuals living in social groups, sensitive operant measurement of motivation for social reward in absolute terms and relative to other potential reward stimuli, and responses to social exclusion. The development and availability of automated systems for the measurement of these social dimensions, as presented in this symposium, is allowing for the study and increased understanding of their underlying neurobiology, as well as of the genetic and environmental factors that lead to pathophysiological changes in this neurobiology.  

10:00-10:20    Ewelina Knapska
Tracking social hierarchy and interactions of mice in Eco-HAB - a fully automated and ecologically relevant environment for assessment of social behaviors
10:20-10:40    David Skuse
Autism Spectrum Disorders in Females
10:40-11:00    Tatiana Peleh, Fayin Li, Laura Carnellas-Dols and Bastian Hengerer
Automated analysis of social behavior in groups of mice
11:00-11:30    Coffee
11:30-11:50    Indu Dubey and Bhismadev Chakrabarti
Social Reward Responsivity in Humans: Insights for and from Autism Spectrum Disorder
11:50-12:10    Christopher Pryce, Giorgio Bergamini, Hannes Sigrist, Franziska Odermatt and Bastian Hengerer
Operant tests for the study of stress effects on gustatory and social reward processing in mice
12:10-12:30    Discussion


Social interaction in the workplace



This symposium is sponsored by TSE Systems.