application): This proposal will expand our understanding of the effects of normal aging on the neural processes involved in mammalian learning and behavior while also developing the potential of the applicant, Dr. Geoffrey Schoenbaum, to become an independent researcher. Research using a rat model of normal aging has shown that neural systems undergo changes with age distinct from those associated with the pathological processes of Alzheimer's disease and other specific diseases. This work has focused on the medial temporal lobe memory system, but behavioral evidence indicates that prefrontal systems may undergo age-related changes independent of those in the medial temporal system. Applying the principles of learning theory and electrophysiological and behavioral methodologies, the applicants propose to characterize the respective roles of the prefrontal cortex and the basolateral amygdala, an important structure related to learning, in a target behavior, and then investigate neural encoding and task performance in aged animals. In combining these methods, their approach will provide insight into the functional consequences of aging on a prefrontal system in an animal model of relevance to human aging. In these experiments, Dr. Schoenbaum will exercise and expand his expertise in behavioral electrophysiology while receiving mentoring from Dr. Michela Gallagher in the study of aged animals and the rigorous application of learning theory. In addition, Dr. Gallagher will oversee his development of the skills required to become a productive independent researcher and academic faculty member. Combined with the didactic and teaching opportunities available on campus, the stimulating environment in Dr. Gallagher's laboratory and the rest of the Johns Hopkins Department of Psychology may allow Dr. Schoenbaum to reach his professional goals and become a contributing member of the neuroscience community.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute on Aging (NIA)
Clinical Investigator Award (CIA) (K08)
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Application #
Study Section
National Institute on Aging Initial Review Group (NIA)
Program Officer
Wagster, Molly V
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Johns Hopkins University
Schools of Arts and Sciences
United States
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Schoenbaum, Geoffrey; Setlow, Barry (2003) Lesions of nucleus accumbens disrupt learning about aversive outcomes. J Neurosci 23:9833-41
Pickens, Charles L; Saddoris, Michael P; Setlow, Barry et al. (2003) Different roles for orbitofrontal cortex and basolateral amygdala in a reinforcer devaluation task. J Neurosci 23:11078-84
Schoenbaum, Geoffrey; Setlow, Barry; Ramus, Seth J (2003) A systems approach to orbitofrontal cortex function: recordings in rat orbitofrontal cortex reveal interactions with different learning systems. Behav Brain Res 146:19-29
Schoenbaum, Geoffrey; Setlow, Barry; Nugent, Summer L et al. (2003) Lesions of orbitofrontal cortex and basolateral amygdala complex disrupt acquisition of odor-guided discriminations and reversals. Learn Mem 10:129-40
Schoenbaum, Geoffrey; Nugent, Summer; Saddoris, Michael P et al. (2002) Teaching old rats new tricks: age-related impairments in olfactory reversal learning. Neurobiol Aging 23:555-64
Schoenbaum, Geoffrey; Nugent, Summer L; Saddoris, Michael P et al. (2002) Orbitofrontal lesions in rats impair reversal but not acquisition of go, no-go odor discriminations. Neuroreport 13:885-90
Schoenbaum, G; Garmon, J W; Setlow, B (2001) A novel method for detecting licking behavior during recording of electrophysiological signals from the brain. J Neurosci Methods 106:139-46
Schoenbaum, G; Setlow, B (2001) Integrating orbitofrontal cortex into prefrontal theory: common processing themes across species and subdivisions. Learn Mem 8:134-47
Schoenbaum, G; Chiba, A A; Gallagher, M (2000) Changes in functional connectivity in orbitofrontal cortex and basolateral amygdala during learning and reversal training. J Neurosci 20:5179-89
Gallagher, M; McMahan, R W; Schoenbaum, G (1999) Orbitofrontal cortex and representation of incentive value in associative learning. J Neurosci 19:6610-4