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Blog, Video Spotlight NIMH Neuroscience Trainee

Discovered brain circuitry of key maternal behavior as grad student

Science Update

A recent NIH Director’s Blog and Lab TV video (above) feature a young neuroscientist whose discoveries as a graduate student were supported, in part, by a NIMH training grant. Bianca Marlin, Ph.D., now a post-doctoral fellow at New York University (NYU), and colleagues, reported last spring in the prestigious journal Nature that the hormone oxytocin interacts with experience to tune the female rat brain to attend to maternal duties by effectively amplifying the significance of pups’ distress calls via circuitry in the left auditory cortex.

Marlin carried out the research under the mentorship of NYU’s Robert Froemke, Ph.D., with support from a NIMH “Training in Systems and Integrative Neuroscience” grant to NYU’s Lynn Kiorpes, Ph.D. The study was also supported, in part, by grants from the NIDCD.

For more information, see:

NIH Director’s Blog: Curious About a Mother’s Bond


Oxytocin enables maternal behaviour by balancing cortical inhibition. Marlin BJ, Mitre M, D'amour JA, Chao MV, Froemke RC. Nature. 2015 Apr 23;520(7548):499-504. doi: 10.1038/nature14402. Epub 2015 Apr 15. PMID:25874674