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Kim WallenSamuel Candler Dobbs Professor of Psychology and Behavioral Neuroendocrinology


Dr. Wallen received his B.A. in Biology at Antioch College in 1970 where he first worked with nonhuman primates at the Oregon Primate Center while on an Antioch coop job.  Dr. Wallen completed two years of alternative service as a conscientious objector at the Wisconsin Regional Primate Research Center. He then entered graduate school in Neuroscience at the University of Wisconsin in Madison, Wisconsin receiving his Ph.D. in 1978.  His graduate work was followed by post-doctoral training at the Wisconsin Regional Primate Research Center before joining the faculty of Emory College in 1979.  Dr. Wallen has been the President of the Society for Behavioral Neuroendocrinology and the International Academy of Sex Research.  He served as Editor-in-Chief of the journal, Hormones and Behavior.



Research Interests

Social behavior of animals emphasizing nonhuman primates. Social and hormonal influences upon the development and expression of sexual behavior. Development of sexually dimorphic behavior and social roles in nonhuman primates.

Research Areas

My laboratory investigates the interaction between hormones and social context on the development and expression of sexual and sex-related behavior in nonhuman primates. The general theme that guides our research approach is the interaction between biological mechanisms and the social and environmental context that shapes their expression and function. We study nonhuman primates because their extended development and complex social structure modal important aspects of the human condition and provide insight into the complementary role that social context and biological predispositions play in the development and expression of behavior. We also do studies in humans that complement the nonhuman primate work.

Current Projects

Current projects in the laboratory focus on the effects of atypical prenatal hormonal exposure on anatomical neuroendocrine, and behavioral development in male and female rhesus monkeys. Other work investigates the role that steroid hormones, specifically estrogens, androgens, and progestins play in the modulation of female sexual desire in monkeys. We are currently investigating hormonal therapies that reinstate sexual motivation in females as possible post-menopausal therapies in women. We have developed a novel RfID-based system for continuously tracking the 3D location of multiple monkeys in a large social group and deriving social behavior from the tracking signatures.  

Collaborative work with Dr. Stephan Hamann investigates sex differences in neural activation to sexual stimuli in men and women. All nonhuman primate research is performed at the Yerkes Regional Primate Research Center Field Station using social groups of monkeys.

Dr. Wallen is currently not accepting graduate students.


  • PSYC 321/NBB 321: Behavioral Neuroendocrinology of Sex
  • PSYC 551: Neurobiology of Cognition & Motivated Behavior