Encyclopedia of Evolutionary Psychological Science

Living Edition
| Editors: Todd K. Shackelford, Viviana A. Weekes-Shackelford

Peggy Mason

  • Eric Hoffmaster
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-16999-6_493-1



Peggy Mason is a Professor in the neurobiology department at the University of Chicago. She received her Bachelors of Arts from Harvard University in 1983 and then continued on to earn her Ph.D. in 1987. Her early research interests examined cellular mechanisms of pain modulation. Such work in this area has focused on the role of serotonergic cells (Gao and Mason 1997; Mason et al. 2007) and pain modulation circuits in everyday life (Foo and Mason 2009).

Peggy Mason

Dr. Peggy Mason’s research focus has recently switched from cellular mechanisms of pain modulation to empathy and prosocial behavior in rats. In her current experiments, free rats are placed in an arena with a conspecific that is locked in a restrainer. Free rats are then able to open and release the restrained cage mate (Bartal et al. 2011). Dr. Mason and her colleagues found that the rats opened the cage more often when a trapped conspecific was present versus when...

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  1. Bartal, I. B. A., Decety, J., & Mason, P. (2011). Empathy and pro-social behavior in rats. Science, 334(6061), 1427–1430.CrossRefPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  2. Bartal, I. B. A., Rodgers, D. A., Sarria, M. S. B., Decety, J., & Mason, P. (2014). Pro-social behavior in rats is modulated by social experience. eLife, 3, e01385.Google Scholar
  3. Foo, H., & Mason, P. (2009). Analgesia accompanying food consumption requires ingestion of hedonic foods. Journal of Neuroscience, 29, 13053–13062.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  4. Gao, K., & Mason, P. (1997). Somatodendritic and axonal anatomy of intracellularly labeled serotonergic neurons in the rat medulla. Journal of Comparative Neurology, 389, 309–328.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  5. Mason, P., Gao, K., & Genzen, J. R. (2007). Serotonergic raphe magnus cell discharge reflects ongoing autonomic and respiratory activities. Journal of Neurophysiology, 98, 1919–1927.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  6. Shan, H., Bartal, I.B.A., Mason, P. (2016). A rodent model of social rejection. bioRxiv. doi: https://doi.org/10.1101/066993 [pre-print].

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Oakland UniversityRochesterUSA

Section editors and affiliations

  • Lisa L. M. Welling
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyOakland UniversityRochesterUSA