Dr. Wolfgang Kelsch

"Oxytocin Enhances Social Recognition by Modulating Cortical Control of Early Sensory Processing"

The morning session was completed by Dr. Wolfgang Kelsch from the Zentralinstitut für Seelische Gesundheit (Mannheim, Germany) and the University of Heidelberg, whose talk was entitled "Oxytocin Enhances Social Recognition by Modulating Cortical Control of Early Sensory Processing". Oxytocin is known to promote the social interaction and recognition of conspecifics in an olfaction-dependent fashion. To elucidate the neuronal underpinnings of the social effects of oxytocin, Dr. Kelsch used behavioral analyses in conjunction with optogenetically evoked oxytocin release and region-specific deletion of oxytocin receptors as well as in vivo and ex vivo electrophysiology from the anterior olfactory cortex and the olfactory bulb under optogenetic control. His research revealed an oxytocin-mediated top-down control of sensory processing in the olfactory bulb that, by improving signal-to-noise in odor coding, proves essential for appropriate social perception and behaviors.