My lab studies the neurobiological substrates of learning and memory, with particular emphasis on Pavlovian fear conditioning. This type of associative learning has gained much attention from both basic and clinical neuroscientists over the last half decade, not only because of its simplicity and tractability as a neurobiological model of learning and memory, but also because of its potential relevance to various psychological disorders, including post-traumatic stress and panic disorders in which acquired fear appears to play a prominent role. Specifically, I am interested in the cellular and/or biochemical events that contribute to fear memory consolidation, or the process by which short-term fear memories are transformed in the brain, over time, into stable, long-term memories. Much of this work has focused on the amygdala, a temporal lobe structure that has been implicated in emotion and emotional learning for many years. Work in my lab utilizes a multidisciplinary approach to the study of fear memory formation in the amygdala and other relevant brain areas that includes behavioral, anatomical, electrophysiological, and biochemical techniques.
Monsey, M.S., Ota, K.T., Akingbade, I.F., Hong, E.S. & Schafe, G.E. (2011). Epigenetic alterations are critical for fear memory consolidation and synaptic plasticity in the lateral amygdala. PloS ONE, 6(5): e19958. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0019958.
Maddox, S.A. & Schafe, G.E. (2011). The activity-regulated cytoskeletal-associated protein (Arc/Arg3.1) is required for reconsolidation of a Pavlovian fear memory. The Journal of Neuroscience, 31, 7073-82.
Ota, K.T., Monsey, M.S., Wu, M.S. & Schafe, G.E. (2010). Synaptic plasticity and NO-cGMP-PKG signaling regulate pre- and postsynaptic alterations at rat lateral amygdala synapses following Pavlovian fear conditioning. PloS ONE, 5(6): e11236. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0011236.
Overeem, K.A., Ota, K.T., Monsey, M.S., Ploski, J.E., & Schafe, G.E. (2010). A role for nitric oxide-driven retrograde signaling in the consolidation of a fear memory. Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience, doi: 10.3389/neuro.08.002.2010.
Ploski, J.E., Pierre, V.J., Smucny, J., Park, K., Monsey, M.S., Overeem, K.A. & Schafe, G.E. (2008). Activity-regulated cytoskeletal-associated protein (Arc/Arg3.1) is required for memory consolidation of Pavlovian fear conditioning in the lateral amygdala. The Journal of Neuroscience, 28, 12383-12395.