Graduate Studies Faculty

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K. Matthew Lattal, PhD

Associate Professor
Admin Unit: SOM-Behavioral Neuroscience Department
Phone: 503 418-2215
Lab Phone: 503 418-2216
Fax: 503 494-6877
Office: MRB 704
Mail Code: L470
Behavioral Neuroscience
Neuroscience Graduate Program
Research Interests:
learning, memory, behavior, mouse, hippocampus, neuroscience, molecular mechanisms » PubMed Listing
Preceptor Rotations
Academic Term Available Winter 2014 Yes Spring 2014 Yes Fall 2014 Yes Summer 2016 Maybe Fall 2016 Maybe Winter 2016 Maybe Spring 2016 Maybe
Faculty Mentorship
Dr. Lattal might be available as a mentor for 2016-2017. Dr. Lattal might be available as a mentor for 2014-2015. Dr. Lattal might be available as a mentor for 2015-2016.

 Summary of Current Research

My research examines behavioral and molecular processes that underlie learning and memory.  I am particularly interested in some of the differences between initial memory formation (when, for example, an organism learns that an outcome, such as food or shock, is delivered in a particular context) and extinction (when the organism learns that the outcome no longer occurs in that context).  A key property of extinction is that even though the organism learns that the context no longer predicts the outcome, the original context-outcome memory remains intact.  This is true across different outcomes, including food, shock, and drugs of abuse.  The challenge for interventions that use extinction as a treatment for psychiatric disorders (such as post-traumatic stress disorder and substance abuse) is to make the effects of extinction persistent, causing long-lasting suppression of the original memory.  Current research projects in my laboratory are examining ways to arrange extinction behaviorally to cause persistent changes in memory.  At the neural systems level, we are examining the role of the hippocampus, medial prefrontal cortex, and amygdala in the development and persistence of extinction.  At the molecular level, we are examining the role of epigenetic mechanisms in extinction.

Selected Recent Publications

Lattal, K.M. & Wood, M.A.(2013).  Epigenetics and persistent memory:  Implications for reconsolidation and silent extinction beyond the zero.  Nature Neuroscience, in press.

Stafford, J.M., Maughan, D.K., Ilioi, E.C., & Lattal, K.M. (2013).  Exposure to a fearful context during periods of memory plasticity impairs extinction via hyperactivation of frontal-amygdalar circuits.  Learning & Memory, in press.

Stafford, J.M., Raybuck, J.D., Ryabinin, A., & Lattal, K.M. (2012).  Increasing histone acetylation in the hippocampus-infralimbic network enhances fear extinction.  Biological Psychiatry, 72, 25-33.*commentary by Yamamoto et al. in Biological Psychiatry v72:2-3.

Abraham, A.D., Cunningham, C.L., & Lattal, K.M. (2012).  Methylphenidate enhances extinction of contextual fear.  Learning & Memory, 19, 67-72.

Lattal, K. M. (2012).  Pavlovian conditioning.  In G.J. Madden’s (ed.), APA Handbook of Behavior Analysis: Vol. 1 Methods and Principles.  Washington, DC:  American Psychological Association Press.  283-306.

Raybuck, J.D., & Lattal, K.M. (2011).  Double dissociation in the contributions of amygdala and hippocampus to trace and delay fear conditioning.  PLoS ONE6(1):e15982. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0015982.

Stafford, J.M., & Lattal, K.M.  (2011).  Is an epigenetic switch the key to persistent extinction?  Neurobiology of Learning & Memory, 96, 35-40.

Bernardi, R.E., & Lattal, K.M. (2010).  A role of α1-adrenergic receptors in extinction of conditioned fear and cocaine conditioned preference.  Behavioral Neuroscience, 124, 204-210.

Malvaez, M., Sanchis-Segura, C., Vo, D., Lattal, K.M., Wood, M.A. (2010). Modulation of chromatin modification facilitates extinction of cocaine-induced conditioned place preference. Biological Psychiatry, 67, 36-43.

Bernardi, R.E., Ryabinin, A., Berger, S.P., & Lattal, K.M. (2009). Post-retrieval disruption of a cocaine conditioned place preference by systemic and intra-basolateral amygdala β2 and α1-adrenergic antagonists. Learning & Memory, 16, 777-789.

Stafford, J.M., & Lattal, K.M. (2009). Direct comparisons of the size and persistence of anisomycin-induced consolidation and reconsolidation deficits. Learning & Memory, 16, 494-503. learnmem.cshlp.org/content/16/8/494.full.pdf+html

Bernardi, R.E., Lewis, J.R., Lattal, K.M., & Berger, S.P. (2009). Modafinil reinstates a cocaine conditioned place preference following extinction in rats. Behavioural Brain Research, 204, 250-253.

Groblewski, P.A., Lattal, K.M., & Cunningham, C.L. (2009). Effects of D-Cycloserine on extinction and reconditioning of ethanol-seeking behavior in mice. Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research, 33, 772-782. www3.interscience.wiley.com/cgi-bin/fulltext/122245025/PDFSTART

Lattal, K. M. & Stafford, J.M. (2008). What does it take to demonstrate memory erasure? Theoretical comment on Norrholm et al (2008). Behavioral Neuroscience, 122, 1186-1190. www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2559954/pdf/nihms59351.pdf

Lattal, K. M. (2007a). Extinction and the erasure of memories. Psychological Science Agenda, 21 (11), 3-4, 16-18. http://www.apa.org/science/about/psa/2007/12/lattal.aspx

Lattal, K. M. (2007b). Effects of ethanol on the encoding, consolidation, and expression of extinction following contextual fear conditioning. Behavioral Neuroscience, 121, 1280-1292. psycnet.apa.org/journals/bne/121/6/1280.pdf

Lattal, K. M., Barrett, R., & Wood, M. A. (2007). Systemic or intrahippocampal delivery of histone deacetylase inhibitors facilitates fear extinction. Behavioral Neuroscience, 121, 1125-1131. psycnet.apa.org/journals/bne/121/5/1125.pdf


1994-1998 Ph.D., Department of Psychology, University of Pennsylvania (Advisor: Robert A. Rescorla)

1989-1993 B.A., Psychology with Honors, University of California, San Diego

Previous Positions

2005-2010  Assistant Professor, Department of Behavioral Neuroscience, OHSU

1998-2004 Post-Doctoral Fellow, Department of Biology, University of Pennsylvania (Advisor: Ted Abel)