October 5, 2013
Francis Lee, M.D. Department of Psychiatry, Weill Cornell Medical College
Fear learning and memory across adolescent development
Throughout the past several decades, studies have uncovered a wealth of information about the neural circuitry underlying fear learning and extinction that has helped to inform treatments for fear-related disorders such as post-traumatic stress and anxiety disorders. Yet, up to 40% of people do not respond to such treatments. Adolescence, in particular, is a developmental stage during which anxiety disorders peak, yet little is known about the development of fear-related neural circuitry during this period. Moreover, pharmacological and behavioral therapies that have been developed are based on mature circuitry and function. This presentation will provide an overview of our recent empirical studies employing both mouse genetics and human imaging to examine how fear-related processes differ across individuals and across development, especially during adolescence. Behavioral, genetic and brain imaging data will be provided to offer insights for whom may be at risk for anxiety and for whom and when, during development, exposure based treatment may be most effective for treating individuals with anxiety disorders.
Discussant: Maggie Zellner