WASHINGTON, DC — The Society for Neuroscience (SfN) will award the Donald B. Lindsley Prize in Behavioral Neuroscience to Bianca Jones Marlin, PhD, of Columbia University Medical Center. Supported by The Grass Foundation, the prize recognizes an outstanding PhD thesis in the area of general behavioral neuroscience.

The $2,500 award was established in 1979 in honor of Donald B. Lindsley, an early trustee of The Grass Foundation. The award will be presented at Neuroscience 2016, SfN’s annual meeting and the world’s largest source of emerging news about brain science and health.

“The Society is pleased to honor Dr. Marlin for her research linking the hormone oxytocin to neural changes associated with learned maternal behavior,” SfN President Hollis Cline said. “Her work has great potential to influence our understanding of how vital bonds between parent and offspring form and sometimes fail.”

When mice pups are lost, they emit an ultrasonic distress cry that beckons experienced mouse mothers to find them and bring them back to the nest. Naive female mice will ignore or even eat a lost pup. As a doctoral student at New York University’s School of Medicine, Marlin documented changes in the auditory cortex associated with this learned response, showing that only the left side of the auditory cortex controls the behavior and that oxytocin delivered to the left side speeds the retrieval of lost pups.

The Society for Neuroscience (SfN) is an organization of nearly 38,000 basic scientists and clinicians who study the brain and nervous system.