University of Houston Researcher Probes How Testosterone Works in the Brain
Most people have some idea about the hormone testosterone –how it regulates male behavior or how too little of it might cause a decrease in libido and too much might cause aggressive and irritable behavior. Turns out, no one yet knows how testosterone really does all that.
With a $1.9 million grant from the National Institute of General Medical Sciences, Beau Alward, assistant professor of psychology with a joint appointment in biology at the University of Houston, is set to find out.
“We know androgens like testosterone control social behavior, but in reality, we still do not know precisely what aspects of social behavior androgens regulate and how this is done. We know they affect neurons, but not how they do it,” said Alward.
Alward will use the highly social African cichlid fish, Astatotilapia burtoni (A. burtoni) along with cutting-edge techniques such as single-cell genomics, whole-brain imaging, and rich social behavior paradigms to address these questions.