Graduate Studies Faculty

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Matthew Lattal, PhD

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:
neurobiology of learning and memory, models of substance abuse and post-traumatic stress disorder, learning theory, pharmacological approaches to enhancing memory, epigenetic mechanisms of memory » PubMed Listing
Preceptor Rotations
Dr. Lattal has not indicated availability for preceptor rotations at this time.
Faculty Mentorship
Dr. Lattal has not indicated availability as a mentor at this time.

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.

Recent Research Publications

Abraham, A.D., Neve, K.A., & Lattal, K.M. (2016).  Activation of D1/5 dopamine receptors: A common mechanism for enhancing extinction of fear and reward-seeking behaviors.  Neuropsychopharmacology, in press.

Tipps, M.E., Raybuck, J.D., Buck, K.J., & Lattal, K.M. (2014).  Delay and trace fear conditioning in C57BL/6 and DBA/2 mice: Issues of measurement and performance.  Learning & Memory, 21, 380-393.

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, 113, 25-34.

Raybuck, J.D., & Lattal, K.M. (2014).  Differential effects of dorsal hippocampal inactivation on expression of recent and remote drug and fear memory. Neuroscience Letters, 569, 1-5.

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, 128, 217-227.

Raybuck, J.D., McCleery, E.J., Cunningham, C.L., Wood, M.A., & Lattal, K.M. (2013). The histone deacetylase inhibitor sodium butyrate modulates acquisition and extinction of cocaine-induced conditioned place preference.Pharmacology, Biochemistry and Behavior, 106, 109-116.

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.

Recent Review Papers and Book Chapters

Pizzimenti, C.L., & Lattal, K.M. (2015).  Epigenetics and memory: causes, consequences, and treatments for post-traumatic stress disorder and addiction.  Genes, Brain and Behavior.  In Press

Hitchcock, L.N., & Lattal, K.M. (2014).  Histone-mediated epigenetics in addiction. F.D. Lubin & S. Akbarian’s (Eds.), Progress in Molecular Biology and Translational Science (Vol. 128): Epigenetics and Neuroplasticity: Evidence and Debate.  Elsevier Press,in press.

Tipps, M.E., Raybuck, J.D., & Lattal, K.M. (2014).  Substance abuse, memory, and post-traumatic stress disorder. Neurobiology of Learning & Memory, 112, 87-100.

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.

Lattal, K. M. (2013).  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.


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

2010-2016  Associate Professor, Department of Behavioral Neuroscience, OHSU

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

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