The Drew lab recently published research articles in the journal Learning & Memory and the journal Hippocampus.
The Learning & Memory paper is entitled “Potent Attenuation of Context Fear by Extinction Training Contiguous with Acquisition”. This research investigated the mechanisms through which the emotional valence of a memory is established. Using a procedure known as contextual fear conditioning the Drew lab demonstrated that the strength of remembered fear is strongly influenced by the mouse’s experience during the moments immediately after the fear conditioning, and suggests it may be possible to design therapeutic interventions to alter traumatic memories before they are fully established.
Bernier B.E, Lacagnina A.F, and Drew M.R. (2015). Learning & Memory. In Press
The Hippocampus paper is entitled “Characterization of the role of adult neurogenesis in touch-screen discrimination learning”. This research investigated the contribution of adult-born neurons to spatial and nonspatial touch-screen discriminations of varying levels of difficulty. Using an inducible transgenic mouse model the Drew lab revealed that mice without neurogenesis were able to perform very difficult spatial and perceptual discriminations as well as control mice, suggesting that adult neurogenesis is not necessary for making spatial or perceptual discriminations, but instead contributes to the ability to discriminate among competing memories. These data shed light on how changes in adult neurogenesis —such as those associated with aging, antidepressant drugs, and stress— affect cognition.
Swan A.A., Clutton J.E., Chary P.K., Cook S.G., Liu G.G., Drew M.R. (2014). Hippocampus. Published online before print