Nora H Prior is a postdoctoral fellow working with Drs Gregory Ball and Robert Dooling in the Department of Psychology. Her central research interests are focused on identifying the neuroendocrine bases of social bonding. Currently, the majority of research examining the physiological bases of social bonding has focused on parent-offspring bonds and the formation of monogamous pair bonds, predominately in breeding condition mammals. However, human social relationships are altogether more dynamic, mundane and complex than can be interpreted from these models alone. In order to deepen our understanding of social bonding we need model systems that better reflect the variation that exists both within and across social species.
Thus far, her research has examined the role of seasonality in the regulation of pair bonding in the monogamously breeding zebra finch. Both affiliative physical and vocal behaviors function to support long-term pair-bond maintenance. Sex steroids in the brain may regulate these behaviors differently depending on breeding condition. Under the direction of Drs Ball and Dooling, she will continue similar research focused on determining whether there is seasonal plasticity in the regulation of male-female vocal interactions in canaries.
Website : https://sites.google.com/site/nhprior/home