Karen L. Bales, Ph.D.

Neuroscience and Behavior Unit
Unit Leader

Department of Psychology
University of California, Davis

Dr. Bales’ research program focuses on the neurobiology of social behavior, and how human manipulations of the hormone oxytocin may affect the long-term ability to form social bonds. In addition, she studies the ways in which oxytocin and the closely related hormone arginine vasopressin subserve these social bonds. Dr. Bales works with two socially monogamous species, prairie voles (Microtus ochrogaster) and titi monkeys (Callicebus cupreus).

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Muth, C., Bales, K.L., Hinde, K., Maninger, N., Mendoza, S.P., Ferrer, E. (2015) Alternative models for small samples in psychological research: applying linear mixed effects models and generalized estimating equations to repeated measures data.  Educational and Psychological Measurement 76:64-87.

Becker, J., Baker, A.J., Frampton, T., Pullen, P.K., Bales, K.L., Mendoza, S.P., Mason, W.A. (2013) Pitheciines in captivity: challenges and opportunities, past, present and future. In: Evolutionary Biology and Conservation of Titis, Sakis, and Uakaris, eds. S. Ferrari, L.M. Veiga, A.A. Barnett, and M.A. Norconk, Cambridge University Press, pp. 344-349.

Ragen, B., Bales, K.L. (2013) Oxytocin and vasopressin in non-human primates. In: Oxytocin, Vasopressin and Related Peptides in the Regulation of Behavior., eds. E. Choleris and M. Kavaliers, Cambridge University Press, pp. 288-306.



Children's Health

Dr. Bales is investigating the long-term effects of the application of oxytocin, which is currently being used in young children to correct social deficiencies with Autism Spectrum Disorder.