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<p>Abstract: Endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs) are persistent environmental contaminants that challenge normal functioning neuroendocrine systems. These systems influence social behavior and are subject to other external challenges, like socio-sexual stress. Using a rodent model of post-traumatic stress, Pooley and colleagues (2018) found that single prolonged stress may produce more behavioral rather than physiological changes in female rats. We previously observed no significant differences in circulating corticosterone, a stress hormone, in female rats that experienced sexual aggression during adolescence. The present study uses a crossed model of gestational EDC exposure and/or sexual aggression during adolescence (SCAR; Shors et al., 2016) to understand lasting behavioral changes in anxiety and mate preference for male aggressors in female rats. We expect higher anxiety and lower preference for aggressors in females exposed to SCAR and decreased anxiety in EDC-exposed females. Ongoing analyses of our studies will elucidate the unexplored effects of multiple uncontrolled stressors over the lifespan. This advances our understanding of neuroendocrine disruption in our everyday lives.</p> <p>Best, Ximena De La Cruz B.S. Psychology Honors, The University of Texas at Austin Co-President | Psi Chi- International Honor Society of Psychology</p>
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