The work under the research plan in this application will extend our understanding of neural systems through which signals from the environment control feeding behavior, while also developing the potential for the applicant, Dr. Gorica Petrovich, to become an independent investigator. The proposed research builds on evidence that food consumption can be modified by learned cues, based on motivational value acquired through association with either rewarding or aversive events. Applying a combination of behavioral and neural systems analysis, Dr. Petrovich proposes to determine the exact brain circuits that allow learning to modulate eating, including the amygdala complex and related forebrain systems. Delineating the brain systems needed for control of food consumption by environmental signals, is a necessary first step toward development of animal models in which factors that control feeding behavior and its associated disorders can be better studied. In these experiments, Dr. Petrovich will extend her technical expertise in neuronal systems and build on a foundation of behavioral theory and empirical studies using a range of learning paradigms. Dr. Gallagher (her sponsor), along with Drs. Peter Holland and Tim Moran will oversee her development under the award, toward the goal of becoming a productive independent scientist and academic faculty member. The mentored career award will also allow the applicant to gain a fuller understanding of the clinical conditions, such as eating disorders; to which her basic research has relevance. The environment at Johns Hopkins University is particularly well suited to the applicant's training with a strong presence in both basic research and clinical areas in the field of neuroscience. All facilities required for the proposed research are available to the applicant, including dedicated office and research space.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)
Research Scientist Development Award - Research & Training (K01)
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Special Emphasis Panel (ZRG1-IFCN-4 (11))
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Churchill, James D
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Boston College
Schools of Arts and Sciences
Chestnut Hill
United States
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Petrovich, G D; Hobin, M P; Reppucci, C J (2012) Selective Fos induction in hypothalamic orexin/hypocretin, but not melanin-concentrating hormone neurons, by a learned food-cue that stimulates feeding in sated rats. Neuroscience 224:70-80
Reppucci, Christina J; Petrovich, Gorica D (2012) Learned food-cue stimulates persistent feeding in sated rats. Appetite 59:437-47
Petrovich, Gorica D; Ross, Cali A; Mody, Pari et al. (2009) Central, but not basolateral, amygdala is critical for control of feeding by aversive learned cues. J Neurosci 29:15205-12
Petrovich, Gorica D; Gallagher, Michela (2007) Control of food consumption by learned cues: a forebrain-hypothalamic network. Physiol Behav 91:397-403
Petrovich, Gorica D; Ross, Cali A; Gallagher, Michela et al. (2007) Learned contextual cue potentiates eating in rats. Physiol Behav 90:362-7
Petrovich, Gorica D; Ross, Cali A; Holland, Peter C et al. (2007) Medial prefrontal cortex is necessary for an appetitive contextual conditioned stimulus to promote eating in sated rats. J Neurosci 27:6436-41
Holland, Peter C; Petrovich, Gorica D (2005) A neural systems analysis of the potentiation of feeding by conditioned stimuli. Physiol Behav 86:747-61
Petrovich, Gorica D; Holland, Peter C; Gallagher, Michela (2005) Amygdalar and prefrontal pathways to the lateral hypothalamus are activated by a learned cue that stimulates eating. J Neurosci 25:8295-302