Karen L. Bales

Karen Bales

Position Title

Department of Psychology, College of Letters and Science

102C Young Hall

Profile Introduction

My laboratory is focused on the neurobiology, physiology and development of social behavior. We study monogamous species including prairie voles (Microtus ochrogaster) and titi monkeys (Callicebus cupreus). We focus on many hormonal systems but primarily the neuropeptides oxytocin and vasopressin.

Grad Group Affiliations

  • Animal Behavior
  • Psychology

Specialties / Focus

  • Development
  • Physiology and Behavior
  • Primate Behavior


  • PSC 121 Physiological Psychology, Fall,Spring
  • PSC 123 Hormones and Behavior, Spring

Honors and Awards

  • Burroughs-Wellcome/ American Society of Primatologists Young Investigator Award
  • International Neuropeptide Society Young Investigator Award
  • NIH Post-doctoral Fellow

    Professional Societies

    • Past President, American Society of Primatologists
    • Society for Behavioral Neuroendocrinology
    • International Primatological Society
    • Society for Neuroscience
    • Sigma Xi
    • Editor-in-Chief, American Journal of Primatology


    • 1993 BA Anthropology University of New Orleans
    • 1995 MA Anthropology University of Tennessee
    • 2000 PhD Biology University of Maryland, College Park



    Perkeybile AM, Bales KL. (2017) Intergenerational transmission of sociality: the role of parents in shaping social behavior in monogamous and non-monogamous species. Journal of Experimental Biology 220:114-123.  PMCID: PMC5278619



    Hostetler, C.M., Hinde, K., Maninger, N., Mendoza, S.P., Mason, W.A., Rowland, D.J., Wang, G.B., Kukis, D., Cherry, S.R., Bales, K.L. (2017) Effects of pair bonding on dopamine D1 receptors in monogamous male titi monkeys (Callicebus cupreus). American Journal of Primatology 79: 1-9. PMCID: PMC5474115



    Freeman SM, Smith AL, Goodman MM, Bales KL. (2017) Selective localization of oxytocin receptors and vasopressin 1a receptors in the human brainstem. Social Neuroscience 12:113-123. PMCID: PMC5474119



    Duchemin, A., Seelke, A.M., Simmons, T.C., Freeman, S.M., Bales, K.L. (2017) Localization of oxytocin receptors in the prairie vole (Microtus ochrogaster) neocortex.  Neuroscience 348: 201-211.  PMCID: PMC5368034.



    Bales, K.L. (2017) Parenting in Animals.  Current Opinion in Psychology 15:93-98. PMCID: PMC5393448



    Maninger, N., Hinde, K., Mendoza, S.P., Mason, W.A., Larke, R.H., Ragen, B.J., Jarcho, M.R., Cherry, S.R., Rowland, D.J., Ferrer, E., Bales, K.L. (2017) Pair bond formation leads to a sustained increase in global cerebral glucose metabolism in monogamous male titi monkeys (Callicebus cupreus). Neuroscience 348: 302-312. PMCID: PMC5391773



    Larke RH, Toubiana A, Lindsay KA, Mendoza SP, Bales KL. (2017) Infant titi monkey behavior in the open field test and the effect of early adversity. American Journal of Primatology 79(9). PMC pending.



    Simmons TC, Balland JF, Dhauna J, Yang SY, Traina JL, Vazquez J, Bales KL. (2017) Early Intranasal Vasopressin Administration Impairs Partner Preference in Adult Male Prairie Voles (Microtus ochrogaster). Frontiers in Endocrinology 8:145. PMCID: PMC5487415