Our laboratory is interested in how the brain changes as a function of experience and as a function of the aging process. Our research focuses primarily on brain regions (e.g., prefrontal cortex, medial temporal lobe) that are not only vital for various forms of learning and memory but also are among the most susceptible to aging-related neurodegenerative disorders, including Alzheimer’s disease.

Our laboratory is currently engaged in research investigating:

  1. prefrontal mechanisms underlying aging-related deficits in extinction of trace fear conditioning,
  2. intrinsic and synaptic plasticity as a function of learning and aging
  3. the role of calcium binding proteins and calcium-dependent processes in aging and susceptibility to neurodegeneration.

Behavioral (e.g., acquisition and extinction of Pavlovian fear conditioning), cellular (e.g., use of in vitro models of ischemia to study neurodegeneration), immunohistochemical (e.g., Western blotting, fluorescence and confocal microscopy), and neurophysiological (e.g., whole-cell patch-clamp recordings from visually identified neurons in living brain slices; intracellular and extracellular recordings in living brain slices) techniques are utilized to integrate information across multiple levels of analysis.