Towards a cell-type specific understanding of neural circuits underlying fear behaviors.


October 4, 2016 - 12:00pm - 1:00pm
Northwest 243
About the Speaker
Kerry J. Ressler, MD, PhD
Speaker Affiliation: 
McLean Hospital, Belmont MA


Fear and anxiety-related disorders are remarkably common and debilitating, and are often characterized by dysregulated fear responses. Rodent models of fear learning and memory have taken great strides towards elucidating the specific neuronal circuitries underlying the learning of fear responses. I will review recent research utilizing optogenetic, DREADD and other cell-type specific approaches to parse circuitries underlying fear behaviors. I also highlight the powerful advances made when these techniques are utilized in a genetically defined, cell-type specific, manner. The application of next-generation genetic and sequencing approaches in a cell-type specific context will be essential for a mechanistic understanding of the neural circuitry underlying fear behavior and for the rational design of targeted, circuit specific, pharmacologic interventions for the treatment and prevention of fear-related disorders.