Carter studies social bonding, male and female parental behavior, the social control of stress reactivity and the social control of reproduction, often using animal models such as the socially monogamous prairie vole. Carter’s research focuses on neuropeptide and steroid hormones, including oxytocin, vasopressin, corticotropin-releasing hormone, and estrogen.

Most recently she has been examining the role of oxytocin and vasopressin in mental disorders such as autism, schizophrenia, anxiety and depression. Carter is also known for research on the physiological basis of social behavior, including studies that implicated oxytocin, vasopressin and hormones of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (“stress”) axis in the traits of monogamy including pair-bond formation. She pioneered the physiological study of socially monogamous mammals, including the prairie vole.

Research Interests: social bonding, the role of Oxytocin in mental disorders, traits of monogamy and pair-bond formation

Subject Areas:

  • Behavioral Neuroscience
  • Ecology
  • Hormones and Behavior
  • Mechanism of Behavior

Subject Area

  • Biology
Past Affiliations
Biological Science, Animal Science
BA, Drury University, Biology
PhD, University of Arkansas, Zoology
MA, Drury University