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Details for Dr Peter Brennan

Personal details
Name Dr Peter Brennan
Job title Reader
Department School of Physiology, Pharmacology & Neuroscience University of Bristol
Contact details This expert can be contacted via the University of Bristol Public Relations Office.

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work+44 (0)117 331 8092
Qualifications MA(Cantab), PhD(Cantab)
Professional details
Membership of professional bodies British Neuroscience Association
European Chemoreception Research Organisation
Keywords vomeronasal system
chemosensory systems
non-volatile chemical signals
olfactory learning
mammalian pheromones
mate recognition
accessory olfactory bulb
Areas of expertise My research interests are focused on the vomeronasal system. This chemosensory system is found in a wide variety of vertebrates and is specialised to detect non-volatile chemical signals, such as those in body secretions, scent marks or urine. It is a relatively simple, sub-neocortical neural system involving cortical and striatal regions of the amygdala, and yet it exerts a major control over behavioural and neuroendocrine output, via the hypothalamus.

A major focus of my work has investigated the neurobiological basis of mate recognition in mice, which can be explained by neural changes in the accessory olfactory bulb, at the first level of processing of the pheromonal signal. It is one of the few instances in the vertebrate brain where learning at a behavioural level can be explained by synaptic changes at identified neurons.
Media experience Numerous live and pre-recorded interviews for local and national radio.
Filming for channel 4 TV programmes
Numerous interview with the print media