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Image by Diane Picchiottino

Molecular and Behavioral

Neuroscience Research Group

The Molecular and Behavioral Neuroscience Research Group focuses on understanding molecular and circuit-level alterations in rodent models of psychiatric conditions including schizophrenia, fear and anxiety disorders. Our research employs a variety of techniques, including behavior test batteries, immunofluorescence, optogenetics, and chemogenetics (DREADDs) Currently, our investigations aim to identify physiological and pathological alterations in hippocampal activity patterns mediated by neuropeptides and their correlation with behavior. We utilize transgenic rodents to pinpoint specific cell populations and their roles in dysregulated defensive reactions.


In addition to animal models, our research extends to translational studies on fear and cognitive processes involving human participants. To address this, we employ neuroimaging methods such as functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS), electroencephalography (EEG), eye tracking, and a comprehensive neuropsychological test battery. Our ongoing research explores how cultural elements shape fear perception and expression through the application of EEG methods.

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