Developmental and Cognitive Neuroscience
Mark Wilson, PhD, studies how psychosocial factors affect behavioral, metabolic and reproductive health in females.
In studies funded by the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), Dr. Wilson investigates the biological signals that mediate the social subordination delay in puberty and how this affects emotional development and brain maturation using positron emission tomography (PET) neuroimaging of the serotonin system and structural neuroimaging (magnetic resonance imaging and diffusion tensor imaging).
In other NIMH-supported studies, the Wilson lab studies how social subordination influences the behavioral efficacy of the hormone estradiol on regulating prosocial and emotional behavior in adult female rhesus monkeys. These studies also examine how these social factors affect estradiol regulation of the serotonin systems.
Another focus of the Wilson lab is the development of a program to study psychosocial influences of appetite and food preference. These studies are testing the hypothesis that social subordination produces deficits in dopamine signaling in meso-limbic areas of the brain and predispose females to over consume calorically dense foods.
As Chief of the Division of Developmental and Cognitive Neuroscience, Dr. Wilson oversees the administrative functions of the division. This entails oversight of the administrative staff, approving grant submissions by division faculty and trainees, ensuring appropriate allocation of division resources and mentoring junior faculty. Dr. Wilson is involved in reporting division research activities to the National Center for Research Resources (NCRR) and preparing progress and plan descriptions of division research activities for the Yerkes Research Center’s P51 base grant renewal. Dr. Wilson also serves as the liaison between division staff and the Yerkes administration, and advises the director on issues related to the scientific mission of the Center.
Dr. Wilson collaborates with a number of researchers at Yerkes, including Drs. Robert Hampton, Leonard Howell, Zach Johnson, Todd Preuss, Kerry Ressler, Mar Sanchez, Lary Walker and Kim Wallen.
View publications on PubMed