Making accurate predictions about one’s environment is essential to everyday functioning as is the ability to update complex old memories with newly acquired information. Disruption in these learning processes can define cognitive pathologies, therefore it is integral that we understand how such memories are formed and processed in the brain. To accomplish this aim, I employ a combination of carefully controlled and well-designed behavioral studies with differential neural manipulations. I hope to provide evidence from two streams of research of the success of this approach in understanding the behavioral function of neural structures. The first example will focus on delineating the neurobiology of predictive fear learning. By employing a blocking design alongside theoretical stipulations of stimulus versus outcome processing in predictive learning, I uncover a functionally dissociable role for accumbal opioid transmission in the former and amygdaloid dopamine transmission in the latter. In the second example, I will introduce a novel behavioral paradigm aimed at examining the nature of mnemonic representations, which integrate information about what happens where and when. Such integration, as well as the retrieval and updating of such memories with new information rely on intact hippocampal function.
Dr. Iordanova is a candidate for a faculty position in Psychology, Behavioral Neuroscience Area. She visits us from the University of Maryland.
Jeansok Kim, host. [masked]
To request disability accommodation contact the Disability Services Office at least ten days in advance at:[masked] (voice),[masked] (TTY),[masked] (fax), or e-mail at [masked].