2007: Yukiko Washio


University of Nevada, Reno


Recognizing how much behavior analysis can offer the field of psychoneuroimmunology, Yukiko Washio’s work has focused on immunoconditioning, in which various immune responses are the subject matter for environmental conditioning. Her experiment with Dr. Linda J. Parrott Hayes and Dr. Kenneth Hunter confirmed, using mice, a previous finding that a proinflammatory cytokine called tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-a showed a conditioned effect to the taste of saccharin associated with lipopolysaccharide (LPS) via Pavlovian conditioning. Furthermore, the results showed that introduction of saccharin on a different day over the course of conditioning induced a different response phase in the development of TNF-a tolerance response at testing of the conditioned stimulus. This experiment obviously has an enormous applied implication relevant to those at high risk for gram-negative bacterial infections. Yukiko also designed and conducted a series of experiments based on the preliminary immunoconditioning model for endotoxin tolerance with mice. These pertain to investigating interrelations between biological phenomena and relations of behavior and the environment.




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