This fiscal year we successfully launched our research program aimed at studying the role of the PVT in stress processing and the control of stress susceptibility. This included designing and setting up laboratory equipment, hiring and training laboratory staff, and conducting pilot studies. To begin investigating the role of PVT in stress processing, we first designed and implemented a behavioral protocol that reliably measures stress memory across many different mouse strains and genetic lines. Second, we identified putative cellular substrates of stress in PVT some of which are likely to be associated with stress-induced chances in gene expression. Finally, we drafted and published a review article that summarizes current literature on the neuronal pathways controlling the retrieval of aversive memories and proposed a model supporting the involvement of PVT in this process.

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U.S. National Institute of Mental Health
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Beas, B Sofia; Wright, Brandon J; Skirzewski, Miguel et al. (2018) The locus coeruleus drives disinhibition in the midline thalamus via a dopaminergic mechanism. Nat Neurosci 21:963-973
Stephenson-Jones, Marcus; Yu, Kai; Ahrens, Sandra et al. (2016) A basal ganglia circuit for evaluating action outcomes. Nature 539:289-293
Do Monte, F H; Quirk, G J; Li, B et al. (2016) Retrieving fear memories, as time goes by…. Mol Psychiatry 21:1027-36