skip to content

Main Navigation

Improving Animal Models of Behavioral and Social Processes Logo


Improving Animal Models of Human Behavioral and Social Processes

Monday-Tuesday, July 23-24, 2012

Room C-F, Executive Plaza North
6130 Executive Blvd.
Rockville, MD 20852

The workshop brought together experts from the scientific community to discuss strategies for improving animal models of human behavioral and social processes. Its goals were twofold: 1) to identify animal models of human behaviors that have been particularly successful and generative, so that we can learn from those successes to guide future activities, and 2) to discuss how best to approach human processes that have been particularly challenging to model in animals.

The overarching question posed was: What can the National Institutes of Health (NIH) do to foster the identification and development of powerful animal models for human behavioral and social processes, particularly those that have traditionally been difficult to model? This might be accomplished by fostering the creation of new animal models or modification of existing ones.

List of Registrants | Workshop Summary

Day 1 (July 23, 2012)
8:30 am – 8:40 am Welcome and Introductions
Improving animal models of behavioral and social processes PDF icon
Deborah Olster, PhD, NIH Office of Behavioral and Social Sciences Research
8:40 am – 8:55 am Welcome to OppNet: Three years of trans-NIH research in the behavioral and social sciences PDF icon
William Elwood, PhD, OppNet Facilitator
NIH Office of Behavioral and Social Sciences Research
8:55 am – 9:05 am Call the movers! Moving animal research findings to human application PDF icon
Minda Lynch, PhD, National Institute on Drug Abuse
Session 1: Opening Addresses
9:05 am – 9:35 am Animal models of human behavioral and social processes: What is a good animal model? PDF icon
Dario Maestripieri, PhD, University of Chicago
9:35 am – 10:05 am Animal models: Themes and examples PDF icon
C. Sue Carter, PhD, Research Triangle Institute International
10:05 am – 10:20 am Break
Session 2: Success stories Chaired and moderated by Jeanne Altmann, PhD, Princeton University
  In this session, researchers who work on a behavioral process in both humans and animal models (either themselves or by collaboration) will discuss the principles and processes of successful development of an animal model for a human behavioral or social process.
10:20 am – 10:40 am What do we want out of our ideal behavioral method? PDF icon
Tim Bussey, PhD, University of Cambridge
10:40 am – 11:00 am Psychosocial stress and immunodeficiency virus disease in rhesus macaques PDF icon
John Capitanio, PhD, University of California, Davis
11:00 am – 11:20 am Rodent models of sociality, health and life histories: Social isolation, stress, and the biological mechanisms of breast cancer
Martha McClintock, PhD, University of Chicago
11:20 am – 11:40 am Delay discounting (intertemporal choice or impulsive choice) in mice and rats PDF icon
Suzanne Mitchell, PhD, Oregon Health and Sciences University
11:40 am – 12:00 pm Animal models of human memory and human memory impairment PDF icon
Larry Squire, PhD, University of California, San Diego
12:00 pm – 12:05 pm Lessons learned from the less successful efforts
Mort Mishkin, PhD, National Institute of Mental Health
12:05 pm – 12:40 pm General Discussion
12:40 pm – 1:40 pm Lunch (on your own)
Session 3: Particularly challenging human behavioral and social processes
1:40 pm – 1:45 pm Introduction to Session 3 “Conversations”
Deborah Olster, PhD, NIH Office of Behavioral and Social Sciences Research
1:45 pm – 2:20 pm Social interactions: Cooperative and Competitive Behavior
Janine Simmons, MD, PhD, National Institute of Mental Health, Moderator
2:20 pm – 2:55 pm Emotion
Ellen Witt, PhD, National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, Moderator
2:55 pm – 3:30 pm Communication (Voice, Speech and Language)
Lana Shekim, PhD, National Institute on Deafness and other Communication Disorders, Moderator
3:30 pm – 3:45 pm Break
3:45 pm – 4:20 pm Population dynamics
Michael Spittel, PhD, NIH Office of Behavioral and Social Sciences Research, Moderator
4:20 pm – 4:55 pm Lifespan/developmental perspective
Erica Spotts, PhD, National Institute on Aging, Moderator
  • Health effects of early life adversity: Evidence from non-human primates
    Gabriella Conti, PhD, University of Chicago
  • Nonhuman primate models of developmental effects of early life stress: Brain, behavior, and stress physiology
    Mar Sanchez, PhD, Emory University
4:55pm – 5:30 pm General Discussion & Wrap-up for the Day
Day 2 (July 24, 2012)
8:30 am – 8:45 am Orientation/charge for breakout sessions
Minda Lynch, PhD, National Institute on Drug Abuse
8:45 am – 10:15 am Breakout sessions
In these sessions, participants discuss potential next steps toward solutions in a number of domains, including specific recommendations for NIH actions.
  • Science of behavioral animal models translation
    Lisa Freund, PhD, Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, Moderator/Scribe
  • Human capacity building and training
    Deborah Olster, PhD, Office of Behavioral and Social Sciences Research, Moderator/Scribe
  • Measuring behavioral and social processes
    Minda Lynch, PhD, National Institute on Drug Abuse, Moderator/Scribe
  • Fostering collaboration among scientists who work on animals and those who work on humans
    Ivana Grakalic, PhD, National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, Moderator/Scribe
10:15 am – 10:30 am Break
10:30 am – 11:10 pm Reports from breakout sessions
11:10 am – 11:30 am Reflections on translation from animal models to the human condition
Rajita Sinha, PhD, Yale University
11:30 am – 12:00 pm General Discussion
Next steps
12:00 pm Adjourn


Download Adobe Reader

Back to Top

This page last reviewed: January 29, 2013

24 IC's and 5 Offices Box