Lauren Riters

Position title: Professor, Department of Integrative Biology


Phone: (608) 262-6506


Integrative Biology


Ph.D. in Biological Psychology, Bowling Green State University, Bowling Green, OH, USA
Postdoctoral in Behavioral Neuroscience, University of Liege, Liege, Belgium
Postdoctoral in Behavioral Neuroscience, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD, USA

Research Description:

For over 21 years as a PI on several NIH-funded grants as a faculty member at the University of Wisconsin — Madison, my lab members and I have provided novel insights into the neural basis of social behavior and vocal communication using the unique communication properties of songbirds. My lab is also the first to develop the use of conditioned place preference (CPP) to assess rewarding properties of vocalsocial interactions and students will have opportunities to learn and develop other methods to evaluate motivation and reward states that accompany social interactions in nonhuman animals.

Students who join my lab learn the effectiveness of studying nontraditional study species and have opportunities to learn numerous techniques, including behavioral quantification and analysis, viral methods to sitespecifically alter gene expression, sitedirected pharmacological manipulations, chemical lesion techniques, and measures of specific neurochemical markers using immunolabeling, autoradiography, qPCR, RNAseq and bioinformatics to determine neural circuits and mechanisms underlying vocalsocial interactions in songbirds.

Key Words:

Neural Regulation of Communication, Social Behavior, Motivation and Reward, Experimental Interactions in Songbirds

Diversity Statement:

I work with intentionality to create a positive climate and sense of belonging for diverse students. We meet to create individualized training and professional development plans and expectations to allow each student to thrive.

Link to Publications