Katalin Gothard, MD, PhD



University of Arizona
1501 N Campbell Ave, Room 4103
Department of Physiology
Tucson, AZ 85724
(520) 626-1448

Dr. Gothard is a Professor in the departments of Physiology and Neuroscience. The broad goal of our research is to understand the neural basis of emotion and social behavior. We work with rhesus monkeys because their social organization resembles the organization of human societies. They also share with humans the use of facial expressions and various forms of social touch to communicate their emotions and intentions. We elicit emotions in these animals by presenting them with static images or videos of other monkeys, displaying appeasing, neutral, or aggressive social behaviors. Recently we started exploring  the neural bases of real-life interactions between pairs of monkeys, and interactions between monkeys and human experimenters The monkey-monkey interactions involve reciprocal facial signaling and eye contact in the context of affiliative or agonistic social interactions.  The human-monkey  interaction involve social grooming (affective touch). We monitor neural activity from the amydala and related brain areas in conjunction with several autonomic measures of arousal. These experiments reveal the real-time dynamic interactions in multiple systems implicated in emotion regulation and the mechanisms by which emotional responses produce immediate behavioral effects. 

The Gothard Lab

Selected Publications

  • Minxha, J., Mosher, C., Morrow, J. K., Mamelak, A. N., Adolphs, R., Gothard, K. M., & Rutishauser, U. (2017). Fixations gate species-specific responses to free viewing of faces in the human and macaque amygdala. Cell reports, 18(4), 878-891. PMID: 28122239

  • Ballesta, S., Mosher, C.P., Szep, J., Fischl, K.D., Gothard, K.M. Social determinants of spontaneous eye blinks in adult male macaques. Scientific Reports  6;6:38686. PMID:27922101

  • Mosher, C.P., Zimmerman, P.E., Fuglevand, A.J. Gothard, K.M. Tactile stimulation of the face and the production of facial expressions activate neurons in the primate amygdala. eNeuro. Oct 7(5). PMID:  27752543

  • Putnam, P.T., Roman, J.M., Zimmerman, P.E., Gothard KM. (2016) Oxytocin Enhances Gaze-following induced by videos of natural social behavior. Psychoneuroendocrinology. 72:47-53 PMID: 27343726

  • Mosher, C.P., Zimmerman, P.E, Gothard, K.M. (2014) Neurons in the monkey amygdala detect eye-contact during naturalistic social interactions. Current Biology 24:2459-64. PMID: 25283782

  • Burke, S.N., Thome, A., Plange, K., Engle, J.R., Trouard, T.P., Gothard, K.M., Barnes, C.A. (2014) Orbitofrontal Cortex and Basolateral Amygdala Volume Show a Dissociable Relationship with Reward Devaluation in Young and Aged Monkeys. Journal of Neuroscience 34:9905-16. PMID: 25057193

  • Gothard, K.M. (2014) The amygdalo-cingulate pathway and the control of facial expressions. Frontiers in Neuroscience. Perspectives. 8:43. PMID: 24678289

  • Parker, S.S., Mandell, E.K., Hapak, S.M., Maskaykina, I.Y., Kusne, Y., Kim, J.Y., Moy, J.K., St John, P.A., Wilson, J.M., Gothard, K.M., Price, T.J., Ghosh, S. (2013) Competing molecular interactions of aPKC isoforms regulate neuronal polarity. Proceedings of the National Academy of Science 110:14450-14455 PMID: 23940317

  • Leonard, T.K., Blumenthal, G., Gothard, K.M., Hoffman, K.L. (2012) How Macaques View Familiarity and Gaze in Conspecific Faces. Vision 126:781-91. PMID: 23067381

  • Hadj-Bouziane, F., Liu. N., Bell A.H., Gothard, K.M., Luh, W., Tootell, R.B., Murray, E.A., Ungerleider, L.G. (2012) Amygdala lesions disrupt modulation of fMRI activity evoked by facial expression in the monkey inferior temporal cortex. Proceedings of the National Academy of Science 109: 3640–3648. PMID: 23184972

  • Mosher, C.M., Zimmerman, P.E., Gothard, K.M. (2011) Videos of conspecifics elicit interactive looking patterns and facial expressions in monkeys. Behavioral Neuroscience 25:639-652. PMID: 21688888

  • Mosher, C.M., Zimmerman, P.E., Gothard, K.M.  (2010) Response characteristic of the basolateral and centromedial neurons in the primate amygdala. Journal of Neuroscience 30:16197–16207. PMID: 21123566

  • Parr, L.A., Waller, B.M., Burrows, A.M., Gothard, K.M. & Vick, S.J. (2010) MaqFACS: A Muscle-Based Facial Movement Coding System for the Macaque Monkey. American Journal of Physical Anthropology 143:625-630. PMID: 20872742

  • Gibboni R.R., Zimmerman, P.E., Gothard, K.M. (2009). Individual differences in scanpaths correspond with serotonin transporter genotype and behavioral phenotype in Rhesus monkeys (Macaca mulatta). Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience. 3:50.  PMID: 19949466

  • Laine C. M, Spitler, K.S., Mosher, C.M., Gothard, K.M. (2009) Behavioral triggers of skin conductance responses and their neural correlates in the primate amygdala. Journal of Neurophysiology 101:1749-754. PMID: 19144740

  • Gothard, K.M., Brooks, K.N., Peterson, M.A. (2008)  Multiple perceptual mechanisms of face recognition in macaque monkeys. Animal Cognition 12:155-67. PMID: 18787848

  • Waller, B.M., Parr, L.A., Burrows, A., Gothard, K.M., Fuglevand, A.J. (2008) Intramuscular electrical stimulation of facial muscles in Rhesus monkeys. Physiology and Behavior, 95:93-100. PMID: 18582909

  • Spitler, K.M., Gothard. K.M. (2008) A removable silicone elastomer seal reduces granulation tissue growth and maintains the sterility of recording chambers for primate neurophysiology. Journal of Neuroscience Methods, 30:169:23-6. PMID: 18241928

  • Hoffman, K.K. Gothard, K.M., Schmid, M.C., Logothetis, N.K. (2007) Facial expression and gaze-selective responses in the monkey amygdala. Current Biology 17:766-772. PMID: 17412586

  •       Gothard, K.M., Battaglia, F.P., Erickson, C.A., Spitler, K.M., and Amaral, D.G. (2007) Neural Responses to Facial Expression and Face Identity in the Monkey Amygdala. Journal of Neurophysiology 97:1671-1683. PMID: 17093126