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Onur Iyilikci

Associate Research Scientist

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Onur Iyilikci


My overarching goal as a researcher is to understand how social behavior is encoded in the brain. My interest in social behavior kindled as a psychology undergraduate while I was working as a research assistant, investigating the imprinting (social attachment) process in quail. My enthusiasm on the topic led me to pursue a PhD degree at Johns Hopkins University in psychological & brain sciences. My graduate work focused on elucidating how hypothalamic and mesolimbic systems interact to orchestrate information about the incentive salience of social rewards along with the physiological and environmental conditions and incorporate them into reproductive behaviors.

I am still intrigued by the control and dysregulation of social behavior and perusing questions in this domain. Currently, my primary interest is to understand how infants' energetic needs, along with their need for social comfort and care, are encoded in the brain, and transformed into adaptive social behaviors.

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