Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences
Emory University School of Medicine
My lab investigates the cellular and neurophysiological mechanisms underlying emotional aspects of cognition, with an emphasis on the role of the extended amygdala in fear conditioning and extinction and its role in stress reactivity and anxiety-like behavior. Multiple techniques are employed to examine the functional and neurochemical connectivity of the amygdala and related structures in an attempt to create a functional map of the intrinsic circuitry, and to determine how sensory information gains affective weight within this structure. These methods range from molecular biology, through in vitro whole-cell patch clamp recording from visually identified neurons, to in vivo multiunit recording from freely moving rats. By understanding how sensory information is processed in the extended amygdala our ultimate objective is to shed light on the cellular processes that may contribute to the development of mood disorders such as depression, generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, and post traumatic stress disorder.
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