Comet Calendar

Speaker: Robert C. Froemke, PhD
NYU Grossman School of Medicine

Title: Love, Death, and Oxytocin: The Challenges of Mouse Maternal Care

Abstract: The neuropeptide oxytocin is important for maternal physiology and social behavior. In this talk, I will discuss new and unpublished data from our lab on when, where, and how oxytocin is released from hypothalamic neurons to enable maternal behavior in new mother mice. I will focus on maternal responses to infant distress calls, and how oxytocin enables rapid neurobehavioral changes for dams and alloparents to recognize the meaning of these calls. We have built a new system combining 24/7 continuous video monitoring with neural recordings from the auditory cortex and oxytocin neurons of the hypothalamus in vivo. With this documentary approach, we have identified behaviors of experienced and naïve adults learning to co-parent together which also activate oxytocin neurons. I will discuss circuits routing sensory information to oxytocin neurons leading to oxytocin release in target areas important for maternal motivation. Finally, I will discuss longer-term behavioral monitoring over months, examining how single mothers build nests to help ensure pup survival or how this sometimes goes awry.

Speaker Bio: Dr. Froemke is the Skirball Foundation Professor of Genetics in the Neuroscience Institute and Departments of Otolaryngology and Neuroscience/Physiology at NYU Grossman School of Medicine. He has a broad background in systems neuroscience, performing PhD work with Yang Dan at UC Berkeley on spike-timing-dependent plasticity induced by natural spike trains in cortical networks. His postdoctoral research with Christoph Schreiner and Mike Merzenich at UCSF focused on synaptic plasticity in vivo as related to auditory perception and behavior. He started my faculty position at NYU School of Medicine in 2010. The Froemke lab studies neuromodulation, plasticity, and behavior in rodents and humans. He has been awarded Sloan and Klingenstein Fellowships, and Pew, McKnight, and HHMI Scholarships. In 2021, he received a Landis Award for Outstanding Mentorship.

Don't miss the opportunity to enhance your knowledge and grow professionally by hearing these experts in their fields.

This talk will be in-person at Callier Richardson Addition at UT Dallas in CRA 12.110. The talk will also be presented virtually on Zoom.

On Oct. 6, 2023 at 9:30am, join the talk on Zoom.

Continental breakfast will be served from 9-9:30am.

See The School of Behavioral and Brain Sciences for more events.

Callier Center Richardson Addition (CRA), CRA 12.110
2895 Facilities Way, Richardson, TX 75080

Behavioral and Brain Sciences
Millie Rincón-Cortés

UTD strives to create inclusive and accessible events in accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). If you require an accommodation to fully participate in this event, please contact the event coordinator (listed above) at least 10 business days prior to the event. If you have any additional questions, please email and the AccessAbility Resource Center at

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