Learning, Memory, & Emotion

coatofarmsOur lab's research is focused on better understanding the neural systems that mediate learning, memory, and emotion processes. Disruption of these processes appears to play a key role in the type of emotional dysfunction that characterizes mood and anxiety disorders. Behavioral and functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) studies from the lab investigate questions that are important for understanding healthy, as well as dysfunctional, emotion processes. Our lab investigates both basic and applied research questions related to the acquisition, expression, and extinction of human fear-related behaviors. We are also interested in the role of awareness in the expression of fear memories, the neural circuitry that mediates aware and unaware memory processes, and brain regions that process properties of fearful stimuli in contrast to those regions that produce behavioral and autonomic responses. These studies will help us determine neural mechanisms that mediate susceptibility and resilience to stress, as well as the development of emotion-related disorders including depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, and other anxiety-related disorders.