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.
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)
Areas of interest
- 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
- B.A., University of California San Diego 1993
- Ph.D., University of Pennsylvania 1998
Williams, A.R., & Lattal, K.M. (2020). Involvement of the bed nucleus of the stria terminalis in initial conditioning and rapid reconditioning following extinction of contextual fear. Behavioral Neuroscience, in press.
Williams, A.R., Kim, E.S., & Lattal, K.M. (2019). Behavioral and immunohistochemical characterization of rapid reconditioning following extinction of contextual fear. Learning & Memory, 26, 381-386.
Kim, E.S., & Lattal, K.M. (2019). Context-dependent and -independent effects of D1 receptor antagonism in the basolateral and central amygdala during cocaine self-administration. eNeuro 2019; 10.1523/ENEURO.0203-19.2019 PMCID: PMC6712201
Hitchcock, L.N., Raybuck, J.D., Wood, M.A., & Lattal, K.M. (2019). A histone deacetylase 3 inhibitor enhances extinction and attenuates reinstatement of cocaine self-administration in rats. Psychopharmacology, 236, 517-529. PMCID: PMC6459190
Williams, A.R., & Lattal, K.M. (2019). Rapid reacquisition of contextual fear following extinction in mice: Effects of amount of extinction, acute ethanol withdrawal, and ethanol intoxication. Psychopharmacology, 236, 491-506. PMCID: PMC6374192
Alaghband, Y., Kramar, E., Kwapis, J.L., Kim, E.S., Hemstedt, T.J., Lopez, A.J., White, A.O., Al-Kachak, A., Aimiuwu, O.V., Bodinayake, K.K., Oparaugo, N.C., Han, J., Lattal, K.M., & Wood, M.A. (2018). CREST in the nucleus accumbens core regulates cocaine conditioned place preference, cocaine-seeking behavior, and synaptic plasticity. Journal of Neuroscience, 38, 9514-9526. PMCID: PMC6209848
Hitchcock, L.N., & Lattal, K.M. (2018). Involvement of the dorsal hippocampus in expression and extinction of cocaine-induced conditioned place preference. Hippocampus, 28, 226-238. PMCID: PMC5916867
Pizzimenti, C.L, Navis, T.M., & Lattal, K.M. (2017). Persistent effects of acute stress on fear and drug-seeking in a novel model of the comorbidity between post-traumatic stress disorder and addiction. Learning & Memory, 24, 422-431. PMCID: PMC5580533
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, 41, 2072–2081. PMCID: PMC4908654
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, 14, 73-84. PMCID: PMC4526190