About the lab…

The Pickens lab is using behavioral, pharmacological, and neuroanatomical methods (lesions and inactivations, functional neuroanatomy and optogenetic techniques) to support two lines of research on the long term effects of alcohol exposure in rats.

1: What is the neurobiological basis of increases in fear across the weeks following traumatic events (fear incubation) and how is this affected by alcohol use (which could be a form of self-medication)?

fear protocolTimecourse

2: What is the role of the mediodorsal thalamus (MDT or MD) in the circuits involved inĀ  learning about rewards and aversive stimuli and how is this circuitry affected by alcohol exposure?

MDT brainMD devaluation