Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences
The general goal of our research is develop a deeper understanding of the neural circuitry and neuro-pharmacology of fear and anxiety. To do this, we use behavioral techniques such as Pavlovian fear conditioning in rats and mice, and fear measures such as fear-potentiated startle, freezing, elevated plus-maze and defensive withdrawal. Neural substrates are studied using intra-cranial drug infusions, inactivation and lesion techniques, in vivo microdialysis with high-pressure liquid chromatography (HPLC), fos imaging, and tract tracing. We are currently exploring what we believe to be fundamental distinctions between short- and long-duration fear states. We believe the latter are more anxiety like, and arguably, a better model for clinical disorders such as PTSD.