Karen Bales

image of Karen Bales




Offices and Labs

102C Young Hall
+1 530 754 5890

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.


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


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

Department and Center Affiliations

Core Scientist, California National Primate Research Center


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

CBS Grad Group Affiliations

Animal Behavior

Specialties / Focus

Animal Behavior
  • Physiology and Behavior
  • Primate Behavior
  • Development

Graduate Groups not Housed in CBS



PSC 121 Physiological Psychology (Fall,Spring)
PSC 123 Hormones and Behavior (Spring)


10/19/2017 10:57:54 AM
  • 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