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Jenna Ann McHenry

Assistant Professor of Psychology and Neuroscience
Psychology & Neuroscience
GSRB II Rm 3022, Box 91050, Durham, NC 27708
GSRB II Rm 3022, Box 91050, Durham, NC 27708

Selected Publications

Physiological state gates sensorimotor cortical processing and goal-directed behavior.

Journal Article Neuron · December 2022 Goal-directed behavior is often studied under food- and water-restricted states. A study by Matteucci et al.1 in this issue of Neuron reveals that task performance and sensorimotor cortical encoding are impaired under both low and high motivatio ... Full text Cite

Adolescent sleep molds adult social preferences.

Journal Article Nature neuroscience · July 2022 Full text Cite

Prepronociceptin-Expressing Neurons in the Extended Amygdala Encode and Promote Rapid Arousal Responses to Motivationally Salient Stimuli.

Journal Article Cell reports · November 2020 Motivational states consist of cognitive, emotional, and physiological components controlled by multiple brain regions. An integral component of this neural circuitry is the bed nucleus of the stria terminalis (BNST). Here, we identify that neurons within ... Full text Cite

Manipulations of Central Amygdala Neurotensin Neurons Alter the Consumption of Ethanol and Sweet Fluids in Mice.

Journal Article The Journal of neuroscience : the official journal of the Society for Neuroscience · January 2020 The central nucleus of the amygdala plays a significant role in alcohol use and other affective disorders; however, the genetically-defined neuronal subtypes and projections that govern these behaviors are not well known. Here we show that neurotensin neur ... Full text Cite

Obesity remodels activity and transcriptional state of a lateral hypothalamic brake on feeding.

Journal Article Science (New York, N.Y.) · June 2019 The current obesity epidemic is a major worldwide health concern. Despite the consensus that the brain regulates energy homeostasis, the neural adaptations governing obesity are unknown. Using a combination of high-throughput single-cell RNA sequencing and ... Full text Cite

Increased expression of carbon monoxide-producing enzymes in the MPOA after sexual experience in male rats.

Journal Article Physiology & behavior · March 2017 The hypothalamus contains numerous nuclei involved in the regulation of reproductive, stress, circadian, and homeostatic behaviors, with many of these nuclei concentrated within the preoptic and anterior regions. The gaseous neurotransmitter, nitric oxide ... Full text Cite

Hormonal gain control of a medial preoptic area social reward circuit.

Journal Article Nature neuroscience · March 2017 Neural networks that control reproduction must integrate social and hormonal signals, tune motivation, and coordinate social interactions. However, the neural circuit mechanisms for these processes remain unresolved. The medial preoptic area (mPOA), an ess ... Full text Cite

Prefrontal cortex output circuits guide reward seeking through divergent cue encoding.

Journal Article Nature · March 2017 The prefrontal cortex is a critical neuroanatomical hub for controlling motivated behaviours across mammalian species. In addition to intra-cortical connectivity, prefrontal projection neurons innervate subcortical structures that contribute to reward-seek ... Full text Cite

Coordination of Brain-Wide Activity Dynamics by Dopaminergic Neurons.

Journal Article Neuropsychopharmacology : official publication of the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology · February 2017 Several neuropsychiatric conditions, such as addiction and schizophrenia, may arise in part from dysregulated activity of ventral tegmental area dopaminergic (THVTA) neurons, as well as from more global maladaptation in neurocircuit function. Ho ... Full text Cite

The role of ΔfosB in the medial preoptic area: Differential effects of mating and cocaine history.

Journal Article Behavioral neuroscience · October 2016 The transcription factor deltaFosB (ΔFosB) is induced in the nucleus accumbens (NAc) by repeated exposure to drugs of abuse and natural rewards. Less is known about its role in other brain areas. Here, we compared the effects of mating versus cocaine histo ... Full text Cite

Visualization of cortical, subcortical and deep brain neural circuit dynamics during naturalistic mammalian behavior with head-mounted microscopes and chronically implanted lenses.

Journal Article Nature protocols · March 2016 Genetically encoded calcium indicators for visualizing dynamic cellular activity have greatly expanded our understanding of the brain. However, owing to the light-scattering properties of the brain, as well as the size and rigidity of traditional imaging t ... Full text Cite

Physiological state gates acquisition and expression of mesolimbic reward prediction signals.

Journal Article Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America · February 2016 Phasic dopamine signaling participates in associative learning by reinforcing associations between outcomes (unconditioned stimulus; US) and their predictors (conditioned stimulus; CS). However, prior work has always engendered these associations with inna ... Full text Cite

Maternally responsive neurons in the bed nucleus of the stria terminalis and medial preoptic area: Putative circuits for regulating anxiety and reward.

Journal Article Frontiers in neuroendocrinology · July 2015 Postpartum neuropsychiatric disorders are a major source of morbidity and mortality and affect at least 10% of childbearing women. Affective dysregulation within this context has been identified in association with changes in reproductive steroids. Steroid ... Full text Cite

Sex differences in anxiety and depression: role of testosterone.

Journal Article Frontiers in neuroendocrinology · January 2014 Compelling evidence exists for pervasive sex differences in pathological conditions, including anxiety and depressive disorders, with females more than twice as likely to be afflicted. Gonadal hormones may be a major factor in this disparity, given that wo ... Full text Cite

Neurobiological mechanisms of mating-induced stress-buffering and anxiolysis

Thesis Dissertation · 2013 Mating is a socially rewarding experience that yields protective benefits to health, confers resistance to stress, and lowers anxiety-related behaviors in a number of mammalian species, including humans and rodents. These beneficial effects may stem from h ... Link to item Cite

Dopamine D1 receptors and phosphorylation of dopamine- and cyclic AMP-regulated phosphoprotein-32 in the medial preoptic area are involved in experience-induced enhancement of male sexual behavior in rats.

Journal Article Behavioral neuroscience · August 2012 The medial preoptic area (MPOA) is an integral site for male sexual behavior. Dopamine is released in the MPOA before and during copulation and facilitates male rat sexual behavior. Repeated sexual experience and noncopulatory exposures to an estrous femal ... Full text Cite

An NMDA antagonist in the MPOA impairs copulation and stimulus sensitization in male rats.

Journal Article Behavioral neuroscience · February 2012 Systemic injections of an NMDA antagonist have been shown to impair mating in male rats. One site where glutamate and its NMDA receptors may contribute to mating is the medial preoptic area (MPOA), which is vital for male sexual behavior. Glutamate is rele ... Full text Cite