Researchers in the Yerkes Division of Developmental and Cognitive Neuroscience examine genetic, biological and environmental factors that regulate social behavior and cognition and how social experience affects physiological processes and brain function. Researchers in this division spend time at both of the Center’s locations – the main center on Emory’s campus and the field station in Lawrenceville. Their studies focus on a variety of topics based on the social structure of primate society, including aggression, affiliation, reproduction, communication, learning development, growth and maternal behavior.
Division chief Mark Wilson, PhD, studies how social context, in combination with polymorphisms in specific genes, alters the neurobiological basis for a number of biological systems including adolescent growth and development, food intake and metabolism, and reproductive compromise.
Core scientists for the division are Jocelyne Bachevalier, PhD, Frans de Waal, PhD and Kim Wallen, PhD. The Division represents a unique compilation of core and affiliate scientists who are experts in neuroendocrinology, developmental neuroscience, cognitive neuroscience and primate social organization, and who serve as intellectual resources for animal models of psychiatric disorders for other scientists within Yerkes, as well as regional, national and international collaborators.