Perceived threat in the environment creates an internal state of heightened anxiety and autonomic activation that changes communication in neural circuits. The goal of our research is to understand how different internal states affect neural circuit communication during learning.

We use learning theory to investigate different aspects of learning in rodent models and the neuroscience toolbox to probe neural circuit activity in detail.  To do so, we rely on neurophysiology, anatomy and cell-specific manipulations via optogenetic and pharmacogenetics applications. We are particularly interested in cortical-subcortical communication at different stages of learning, organization of inhibitory signaling, and the ongoing dialogue between the amygdala and its input/output structures.

Research Projects

Basal forebrain – amygdala circuit interactions in threat and safety

Prefrontal – Amygdala dialogue during learning

Mechanisms of inhibitory control in the amygdala