Neurobiology of Joy

Like all emotions, the neurobiology of joy is a complex and multifaceted phenomenon. Joy is often associated with positive emotions and can be triggered by a variety of experiences and contexts, including social interactions, food, and physical activity.
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The webinar is suitable for pet owners, veterinary professionals, animal trainers, animal behaviorists, pet guardians, and anyone with an interest in the neuroscience of training and behavior. 

In this Webinar: 

Studies in humans have shown that the experience of joy activates the brain regions important for reward processing, such as the ventral striatum and the prefrontal cortex, which release neurotransmitters such as dopamine, serotonin, and endorphins. These neurotransmitters are associated with feelings of pleasure, happiness, and well-being. Additionally, the amygdala, hippocampus, and other brain regions play a role in the processing and modulation of emotional responses, including joy, ensuring that ongoing benefit comes from the experience of joy. In this webinar we will explore those benefits further, to fully understand how the neurobiology of joy relates to resilience, social bonding and social development.

Learning Objectives:

  • Explain the neural circuits and neurotransmitters involved in the experience of joy.
  • Evaluate the impact of joy on social bonding and resilience, and describe the neural processes that contribute to these effects.
  • Apply knowledge of the neurobiology of joy to real-world situations, such as developing strategies for enhancing well-being and resilience, or treating disorders that involve dysregulation of positive emotions.


This is an online event. 

You will be able to view the webinar even if you cannot join us on the live event date. The recording will be available for viewing for up to 12 months. This webinar will be recorded and sent out within two weeks after the live event.

1.5 CEUs pending:
  • KPA
  • PPAB
  • IAABC
  • CPDT
  • RACE

Tuition:
  • General Admission Tickets – after July 8, 2023: $59
  • Early Bird Tickets – before July 8, 2023: $45
  • Shelter/Rescue/Vet Student/Vet Tech Tickets - no expiration date: 30% off general admission ticket (discount code is SDFWBV)


Discounts are available for groups of 5 or more - please contact [email protected] for more information.

Cancellation policy: No refunds


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Meet the instructor

Kathy Murphy BVetMed, DPhil, CVA, CLAS, MRCVS

Dr Kathy Murphy (BVetMed, DPhil, CVA, CLAS, MRCVS) is a veterinary surgeon and neuroscientist. She graduated from the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons UK in 1999, initially working in mixed clinical practice before studying for two post graduate clinical qualifications with the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons, in Veterinary Anesthesia and Analgesia, and Laboratory Animal Science.

In 2009 she was awarded a highly prestigious Welcome Trust Research Training Fellowship to study for her PhD, in Behavioral Neuroscience, at The Queens College, University of Oxford, UK. She subsequently worked in the USA as Assistant Professor of Neuroscience and Anesthesiology at the Icahn School of Medicine NYC, where her research into the long term effects of anesthesia on learning and memory contributed to a change to the safety advice for the use of general anesthesia in children.

She moved back to the UK in 2013, to take up clinical-academic positions at the University of Oxford and subsequently Newcastle University, and concurrently completed a Residency in Veterinary Anesthesia and Analgesia with the European College of Veterinary Anesthesia and Analgesia, during which she became increasingly interested in how pain re-models the nervous system and this can manifest as behavioral problems in pets.

Alongside these positions Dr Murphy founded, and is now Director of, Barking Brains Ltd (a neuroscience outreach platform for the animal behavior and training community), which focuses on translating neuroscientific information into practical and useful information for people interested in animal behavior. In order to maximize the impact of her diverse interests and skill set, Dr Murphy teamed up with Behavior Vets in 2022 when she took up the position of Chief Scientific Officer.

She is now able to focus on her new found passion for science communication and providing evidence based, up to date, accessible, scientific information to clinicians, animal professionals and their clients, about subjects related to pain, behavior, neurobiology and the many interrelated factors.

In addition to Dr Murphy's primary career roles she was Trustee and Veterinary Advisor to the Rottweiler Welfare Association for 14 years; is co-founder of Ethics First (a collective which lobbies for ethical decision making in clinical practice); is an Oversight Committee Member for the UK Dog Behavior and Training Charter; a guest lecturer in Clinical Animal Behavior at the University of Edinburgh, UK; lectures internationally; sits on numerous National and International boards, working groups and ethical review panels; is an ad-hoc reviewer for neuroscience, veterinary medicine and anesthesia and pain journals; and continues to collaborate on research projects.

Dr Murphy lives in the UK with her husband Elliot (ret. Search and Rescue handler and now scentwork and mantrailing trainer) and their 4 dogs: Nancy a Rottweiler mix, Zebedee and Nela the German Shorthaired Pointers and Albi a Weimaraner.
Patrick Jones - Course author