Sergio Pellis


University of Lethbridge




[email protected]

Research Keywords

The role of play in the development of social skills and associated brain mechanisms, the production and execution of functional sequences of movements, play fighting, social cognition, prefrontal cortex, motor coordination

Additional Information

Lab Methodologies
  • paradigm for testing social play
  • paradigm for testing social negotiation skills in adult male rats
  • test for motor coordination in individual rats
  • test for motor coordination with a social partner
  • test for motor skill in individual animals
  • paradigm for recording and analyzing ultrasonic vocalizations


  • standardized set-up to record behavior and vocalizations in a social setting (with dedicated cameras and microphones, computerized digitizing system for recording and analyzing movement (Peak Motus)


Biographical Information

The role of juvenile social experiences, especially social play, on the development of executive functions and the prefrontal cortex

Roles and Connections

Primary Role


Most Cited Publications

Pellis SM, Hastings E, Shimizu T, Kamitakahara H, Komorowska J, Forgie ML, Kolb B, "The effects of orbital frontal cortex damage on the modulation of defensive responses by rats in playful and nonplayful social contexts." Behavioral neuroscience 120,1 (2006 Feb): 72-84
Whishaw IQ, Suchowersky O, Davis L, Sarna J, Metz GA, Pellis SM, "Impairment of pronation, supination, and body co-ordination in reach-to-grasp tasks in human Parkinson's disease (PD) reveals homology to deficits in animal models." Behavioural brain research 133,2 (2002 Jul 18): 165-76
Burke AR, McCormick CM, Pellis SM, Lukkes JL, "Impact of adolescent social experiences on behavior and neural circuits implicated in mental illnesses." Neuroscience and biobehavioral reviews 76,Pt B (2017 May): 280-300