December 17, 2010

-This was the last general body meeting of 2010!
-Nu Rho Psi applications are due Feburary 1, 2011 BUT please wait to submit them until next semester so that your fall 2010 grades will be included.
-We are in the process of signing up for a table at the spring 2011 Activities Expo in the Campus Center. There is a contest between the RSOs for the best luau-themed tables, so if you have any ideas please let us know!

SPEAKER - Professor Geert de Vries talking about "Sex and Brains"
-there are different male- and female- favored problem-solving tasks BUT the average person from either sex performs the same
-depends on type of testing (priming)

Sex Differences in Homicide
-more male killers and victims
-most killers age 20-30 --> easy to say that it's hormones but it could be several things
-prefrontal cortex not fully mature in early adulthood
-freedom from family control

Why Study Sex Differences?
-memchanisms of brain development
-neurological and behavioral disorders (ex. autism affects many more men than women. why?)
-differences may compensate and make both sexes equal (X inactivation)

Vasopressin in the Prairie Vole
-female level steady
-male level fluctuates during pair bonding and parenting
-blocked vasopressin = blocked male parental behavior

Dual Function
-vasopressin causes differences in aggressive and sexual behaviors
-balances sex differences in social recognition memory, parental behavior, affiliative behavior

In Humans
-large variability in upstream promoters of vasopressin in humans (pair-bonding behaviors)
-made large difference in male phenotype but no real effect in females
-this gene is also linked to autism

Play Fighting in Juvenile Rats
-vasopressin antagonist decreases play in males and increases play in females

On behalf of all the B.R.A.I.N. officers, we would like to wish everyone good luck on their upcoming exams and assignments, as well as a happy holidays! Thanks for coming to meetings and being a part of the RSO. See you next semester!