To highlight the role that brain chemistry plays in social regulation, Thompson’s talk will focused upon work in his lab that investigates how and where within the brain vasotocin and testosterone influence social interactions related to reproduction in goldfish. These molecules are highly similar, and in some cases identical, across species, and they have similar effects on cells within the brain. Thompson will therefore argue that studying the mechanisms of goldfish social interactions can help us more broadly understand how complex patterns of social behavior are regulated across vertebrates, even within our own species.

The Barry N. Wish Professorship of Social Studies was established in 1999 by a gift from Barry N. Wish of the Class of 1963, trustee of the College and chair emeritus of Ocwen Financial Corporation, a publicly held financial services company. The professorship supports a faculty member in the field of human and social affairs in such disciplines as anthropology, economics, government, history, psychology, or sociology.