Molecular and neuronal mechanisms of social recognition memory:

Two neuropeptides were found to be crucial for the formation of social recognition memory, acting each in a different station of the network described above. The neuropeptide oxytocin was found to be released in the medial amygdala while his "twin" neuropeptide, vasopressin, was revealed to exert its influence in the lateral septum. Rodents which are devoid of oxytocin, vasopressin or their receptors do not show social recognition memory, although they show normal function as regards to other types of memory. The role of oxytocin and vasopressin in mammalian social behavior in one of the main topics on which we focus our research. Using a novel behavioral paradigm for long-term social discrimination memory established in our lab we found that this memory depends on protein synthesis and oxytocin-dependent long-term depression (LTD) of the synaptic response in the medial amygdala.