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Caltech Magazine Spring 2022

Caltech magazine

The Wonders of Jellyfish

These ancient creatures offer insights into the ways our bodies work. They also might become our partners in the quest to slow climate change.

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Recent Publications


Make war not love: The neural substrate underlying a state-dependent switch in female social behavior. Neuron. ISSN 0896-6273. Liu, Mengyu and Kim, Dong-Wook and Zeng, Hongkui et al. (2022) doi:10.1016/j.neuron.2021.12.002. (In Press)


The Mouse Action Recognition System (MARS) software pipeline for automated analysis of social behaviors in mice. Segalin, Cristina and Williams, Jalani and Karigo, Tomomi et al. (2021) eLife, 10 . Art. No. e63720. ISSN 2050-084X. PMCID PMC8631946. doi:10.7554/eLife.63720.

Whole-animal multiplexed single-cell RNA-seq reveals transcriptional shifts across Clytia medusa cell types.Chari, Tara and Weissbourd, Brandon and Gehring, Jase et al. (2021) Science Advances, 7 (48). Art. No. eabh1683. ISSN 2375-2548. PMCID PMC8626072. doi:10.1126/sciadv.abh1683.

A circuit logic for sexually shared and dimorphic aggressive behaviors in Drosophila. Chiu, Hui and Hoopfer, Eric D. and Coughlan, Maeve L. et al. (2021)  Cell, 184 (2). pp. 507-520. ISSN 0092-8674. PMCID PMC7856078 ; PMC7982966.

Distinct hypothalamic control of same- and opposite-sex mounting behaviour in mice.
Karigo, Tomomi and Kennedy, Ann and Yang, Bin et al. (2021) Nature, 589 (7841). pp. 258-263. ISSN 0028-0836.

A genetically tractable jellyfish model for systems and evolutionary neuroscience. 

Link to article Jellyfish in Cell Magazine Cover

New Book is Now Available

The Nature of the Beast

The Nature of The Beast

How Emotions Guide Us

In The Nature of the Beast, pioneering neuroscientist David J. Anderson describes a new approach to solving this problem. He and his colleagues have figured out how to study the brain activity of animals as they navigate real-life scenarios, like fleeing a predator or competing for a mate. His research has revolutionized what we know about animal fear and aggression. Here, he explains what studying emotions and related internal brain states in animals can teach us about human behavior, offering new insights into why isolation makes us more aggressive, how sex and violence connect, and whether there's a link between aggression and mental illness.

What Can Animals Tell Us About Emotions?

Images of animals Credit: Life & Work Ideas Essay What Can Animals Tell Us About Emotions? Do elephants tear up in sorrow and squirrels flee in fear, or are those just reflexes? Scientists are plumbing animals' mental states for insight into human mental health. Illustration: Vidhya Nagarajan

Read the article in the Wall Street Journal

Tianqiao and Chrissy Chen Institute for Neuroscience

Dr. Anderson is the Director and Leadership Chair of the Tianqiao and Chrissy Chen Institute for Neuroscience Learn more about the Chen Institute and Caltech.

Chen Institute South Side

Collaboration in Neuroscience


Neuroscience of Emotion

The Neuroscience of Emotion: A New Synthesis

A new framework for the neuroscientific study of emotions in humans and animals

The Neuroscience of Emotion presents a new framework for the neuroscientific study of emotion across species. Written by Ralph Adolphs and David J. Anderson, two leading authorities on the study of emotion, this accessible and original book recasts the discipline and demonstrates that in order to understand emotion, we need to examine its biological roots in humans and animals. Only through a comparative approach that encompasses work at the molecular, cellular, systems, and cognitive levels will we be able to comprehend what emotions do, how they evolved, how the brain shapes their development, and even how we might engineer them into robots in the future.

Showing that emotions are ubiquitous across species and implemented in specific brain circuits, Adolphs and Anderson offer a broad foundation for thinking about emotions as evolved, functionally defined biological states. The authors discuss the techniques and findings from modern neuroscientific investigations of emotion and conclude with a survey of theories and future research directions.

Featuring color illustrations throughout, The Neuroscience of Emotion synthesizes the latest in neuroscientific work to provide deeper insights into how emotions function in all of us.