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 Summer 2015 Maybe Fall 2014 Yes Spring 2015 Maybe Winter 2015 Maybe
Faculty Mentorship
Dr. Lattal might be available as a mentor for 2016-2017. Dr. Lattal might be available as a mentor for 2015-2016.

 Summary of Current Research

My research is focused on understanding how new memories form and how, once formed, these memories can be modulated or weakened through environmental and pharmacological interventions.  Research in my lab investigates memory at three different levels of analysis.  At the behavioral level, we are interested in how different environmental experiences can cause memories to be formed or suppressed.  At the neurobiological systems level, we focus on how brain circuits that mediate memory are altered by behavioral experience.  At the molecular level, we investigate whether manipulating epigenetic processes can modulate long-term memories.  Recent work has focused on the control of gene expression by pharmacological modulation of chromatin, the protein complex that packages genomic DNA.  Relaxing chromatin structure by administering a histone deacetylase (HDAC) inhibitor can promote gene expression by facilitating interactions between transcription factors and DNA.  We have found that HDAC inhibitors promote the development and persistence of different kinds of memories.  At a molecular level, these findings reinforce the idea that regulation of gene expression via chromatin modification is critical for memory.  At a clinical level, these findings suggest that modulating chromatin modification during an episode of learning may lead to a persistent form of memory.

Selected Recent Publications

Bolkan, S.S., & Lattal, K.M. (2014).  Opposing effects of d-cycloserine on fear despite a common extinction duration: Interactions between brain regions and behavior. Neurobiology of Learning & Memory, in press.

Hitchcock, L.N., Cunningham, C.L., & Lattal, K.M. (2014).  Cue configuration effects in acquisition and extinction of a cocaine-induced place preference.  Behavioral Neuroscience, in press. 

Tipps, M.E., Raybuck, J.D., & Lattal, K.M. (2014).  Substance abuse, memory, and post-traumatic stress disorder.  Neurobiology of Learning & Memory, in press.

Abraham, A.D., Neve, K.A., & Lattal, K.M. (2014).  Dopamine and extinction: A convergence of theory with fear and reward circuitry.  Neurobiology of Learning & Memory, 108, 65-77.

Delamater, A.R., & Lattal, K.M. (2014).  The study of associative learning:  Mapping from psychological to neural levels of analysis.  (Introduction to the special issue on associative learning and neuroscience).  Neurobiology of Learning & Memory, 108, 1-4.

Raybuck, J.D., & Lattal, K.M. (2014).  Bridging the interval:  theory and neurobiology of trace conditioning.  Behavioural Processes, 101, 103-111.

Lattal, K.M. & Wood, M.A.(2013).  Epigenetics and persistent memory:  Implications for reconsolidation and silent extinction beyond the zero.  Nature Neuroscience, 16, 124-129.

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, 20, 156-163.

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


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)