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This profile was last updated on 4/15/15  and contains information from public web pages and contributions from the ZoomInfo community.

Dr. Karen Bales

Wrong Dr. Karen Bales?

Employment History

Board Memberships and Affiliations


  • Ph.D.
18 Total References
Web References
Mated prairie voles have a higher ..., 19 May 2011 [cached]
Mated prairie voles have a higher level of a specific dopamine receptor in a brain region called the nucleus accumbens, says Karen Bales, an associate professor of psychology at the University of California at Davis.
When owners interact with their dogs, both sides have surges in oxytocin, says Bales, who studies primates at the California National Primate Research Center.
Tags: animal behavior, Charles Snowdon, Darwinian psychology, Deborah Blum, emotion, Frans de Waal, Harry Harlow, Human behavior, Karen Bales, love, mate mating, monkey, monogamy, neuroscience, psychology, University of Wisconsin Madison UW-Madison
Emotional Health: The Darker Side of Oxytocin - The Doctor, 21 May 2014 [cached]
Instead these males chose to associate with a strange female," said Dr. Karen Bales, Professor and Vice Chair of Psychology at the University of California, Davis, in a press release.
Some might say that this is typical behavior for a human male, but it's decidedly aberrant for a prairie vole, where males rarely look for a new partner even if their mate dies. And in one human study, oxytocin's short-term effect on men who already had a partner was to keep them further away than normal from strange women, not to encourage their advances.
If oxytocin's long-term effects are so different from its short-term impact, this poses great problems for its long-term use for any human condition. The findings suggest that oxytocin treatments caused long-term changes in the oxytocin system, according to Dr. Bales.
Oxytocin sharpens social response in people with autism —, 12 Dec 2013 [cached]
The researchers did not investigate typically developing children at the same time, which limits the interpretation of the findings, notes Karen Bales, professor of psychology at the University of California, Davis, who was not involved in the study. "We think it's good that we see more activity in these areas, but we don't really know [whether it's beneficial]," she says.
Karen ..., 11 June 2012 [cached]
Karen Bales
Karen Bales is Associate Professor of Psychology at the University of California, Davis, and Unit Leader for Brain, Mind, and Behavior at the California National Primate Research Center. She has worked with common marmosets, golden lion tamarins, prairie voles, and titi monkeys, all of which are species that have "good dads".
In an online chat Thursday on ..., 14 June 2012 [cached]
In an online chat Thursday on the ScienceNOW Web site of the journal Science, researchers Kelly Lambert and Karen Bales talked about their research into those good animal fathers, which include prairie voles, California deer mice, titi monkeys and marmosets, the siamang ape and wolves.
Almost all of those species are monogamous and that might be where the paternal change starts, said Bales, an associate professor of psychology at the University of California-Davis and the unit leader for Brain, Mind, and Behavior at the California National Primate Research Center. Two important chemicals involved in bonding with a mate -- called oxytocin and vasopressin -- are also involved in the parental response, she said.
"This is probably not an accident; they are ancient peptides that seem to have been co-opted for many social functions," Bales said. "It is probable that the changes in the brain that occur with pair-bonding help to 'set up' the brain for being a dad, and perhaps vice versa. I wouldn't say that there are any non-monogamous mammals that score really high in paternal contributions."
There are genetic differences in humans in terms of response to those chemicals and one study found the variation in the ability to respond to vasopressin predicted marital quality of life, Bales said.
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