Unja L. Hayes Bio |  Publications  
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Unja L. Hayes
Asst. Professor, Department of Psychology
Member, Neuroscience and Behavior Program
Member, Center for Neuroendocrine Studies

Tobin Hall - 135 Hicks Way
University of Massachusetts
Amherst, MA 01003
phone: 413-545-5955
Fax: 413-545-0996

email: unja@cns.umass.edu   

The types of responses children elicit from adults range from bliss to dysphoria to harm. Incidences in which children are harmed by their parents or guardians usually are attributed to issues related to socioeconomic status and degree of relatedness. However, biological factors have not received much attention. The prairie vole (Microtus ochrogaster) is uniquely suited for the study of parental behavior. Along with forming monogamous bonds, both parents are involved in the care of the young. However, sex and reproductive status of a prairie vole can predict whether pups trigger aggression or nurturing behaviors in the adults. Currently, my research interest focuses on determining what experiences (e.g., mating, pregnancy, parturition, and social) and neurobiological changes are necessary for infanticidal animals to suppress aggressive behaviors and show parental behaviors. This research is conducted for potential clinical application for the prevention of child abuse and neglect and postpartum depression.

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