Brian Trainor

Brian Trainor

Position Title

Department of Psychology, College of Letters and Science

102G Young Hall

Profile Introduction

Mood and anxiety disorders are more likely to occur in women, yet most mouse models focus on males. Using the monogamous California mouse, Dr. Trainor studies the effects of stress on the brain and behavior. His research finds that males and females adapt to social stress using different behavioral strategies. He uses immunohistochemistry, sequencing/PCR, and pharmacology to study how a variety of neurotrophin, neurotransmitter, and neuropeptide systems mediate behavioral responses to stress.

Research Interests

-Effects of social stress on brain and behavior

-Sex differences in behavior 

Grad Group Affiliations

  • Animal Behavior
  • Neuroscience
  • Psychology

Specialties / Focus

  • Behavioral Physiology
  • Behavioral Neuroscience
  • Endocrinology
  • Physiology and Behavior


  • PSC 251 Genetic Correlates of Behavior, Winter
  • PSC 101 Introduction to Biological Psychology
  • PSC 125 Behavioral Genetics and Epigenetics
  • PSC 190 Neurobiology of Stress



Honors and Awards

  • Frank Beach Young Investigator Award 2010

    Professional Societies

    • Society for Behavioral Neuroendocrinology
    • Society for Neuroscience
    • Society for Biological Psychiatry


    • 2003 PhD Psychology University of Wisconsin
    • 1998 MS Biological Sciences University of Nebraska
    • 1996 BS Biology University of Texas

    Selected Publications


    -Steinman, M. Q., Duque-Wilckens, N & Trainor, B. C. 2019. Complementary neural circuits for divergent effects of oxytocin: social approach versus social anxiety.  Biological Psychiatry. 85, 792-801.

    -Duque-Wilckens, N., Steinman, M. Q., Busnelli, M, Chini, B., Yokoyama, S., Pham, M., Laredo, S. A.,R. Hao, Perkeybile, A. M., Minie, V. A., Tan, P. B.. Bales, K. L. and Trainor, B. C. 2018. Oxytocin receptors in the anteromedial bed nucleus of the stria terminalis promote stress-induced social avoidance in females. Biological Psychiatry80, 203-213. (Priority communication). 

    -Steinman, M. Q., Duque-Wilckens, N., Greenberg, G. D., Hao, R. Campi, K. L., Laredo, S. A., Laman-Maharg, A., Manning, C. E., Doig, I. E., Lopez, E. M., Walch, K., Bales, K. L. and Trainor, B. C. 2016.  Sex-specific effects of stress on oxytocin neurons correspond with responses to intranasal oxytocin. Biological Psychiatry, 80, 406-414.  

    -Laredo, S. A., Steinman, M. Q., Robles, C. F., Ferrer, E. & Trainor, B. C.  2015.  Effects of defeat stress on behavioral flexibility in males and females: modulation by the mu-opioid receptor. European Journal of Neuroscience41, 434-441.

    -Greenberg, G. D., Laman-Maharg, A., Campi, K. L., Voigt, H., Orr, V. N., Schaal, L. & Trainor, B. C. 2014. Sex differences in stress-induced social withdrawal: role of brain derived neurotrophic factor in the bed nucleus of the stria terminalis. Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience, 7, 223.

    -Campi, K. L., Greenberg, G. D., Kapoor, A., Ziegler, T. E. & Trainor, B. C. 2014. Sex differences in effects of D1 dopamine receptors on social withdrawal. Neuropharmacology, 77, 208-216.

    -Trainor, B. C., Takahashi, E. Y., Campi, K. L., Florez, S. A., Greenberg, G. D., Laman-Maharg, A., Laredo, S. A., Orr, V. N., Silva, A. L. and Steinman, M. Q. 2013. Sex differences in stress-induced social withdrawal: independence from adult gonadal hormones and inhibition of female phenotype by corncob bedding. Hormones and Behavior, 63, 543-550.

    -Trainor, B. C., Pride, M. C., Villalon Landeros, R., Knoblauch, N.W., Takahashi, E. Y., Silva, A. S. and Crean, K. K. 2011. Sex differences  in social interaction behavior following social defeat stress in the monogamous California mouse (Peromyscus californicus). PLoS One, 6: e17405.


    Full publication list