Cornell Professor Examines the Effect of Stress Hormone on Sensory System

It’s a Sunday morning and you’re hiking by Taughannock when suddenly you’re confronted by an eight foot grizzly bear. Before you can form a coherent thought, you find yourself fleeing back towards campus. This instinctual response, aptly named the fight-or-flight response, is triggered by a hormone released in situations of stress or danger: norepinephrine. A lesser known function of norepinephrine is currently being explored by Prof. Christiane Linster, neurobiology and behavior. Linster used behavior, electrophysiology, and computational modeling to research how modulation of norepinephrine affects the olfactory system, the sensory system used for smelling.