Mara Mather, Ph.D.
At the core of our sense of self and personal history are emotional memories. Although emotional or stressful experiences tend to be memorable, emotional arousal can also impair various aspects of memory. In recent years, research into arousal and memory has focused on the key role of the amygdala in enhancing perception and memory of emotionally arousing stimuli. But enhanced memory for arousing information is only part of the story--there is also abundant evidence that arousal enhances some aspects of memory while impairing other aspects. In our lab, we are testing the theory that arousal enhances high-priority neural representations but suppresses low-priority neural representations of stimuli, and that these increases in gain are due to interactions between norepinephrine (a neurotransmitter closely linked with arousal) and glutamate (the brain's primary excitatory neurotransmitter). We also are examining how arousal influences attention and memory differently in late life.
Alex Ycaza, Ph.D.
Current Research Interest: Influence of female sex hormones on the stress response and cognition in younger and post-menopausal women.
Kaoru Nashiro, Ph.D.
Current Research Interest: The effect of aging on interoceptive awareness and emotion
Phil Opitz, Ph.D.
Current Research Interest: How emotion regulation and cognition may be dependent on one another
Shawn Nielsen, Ph.D.
Current Research Interest: How age and sex hormone levels modulate brain activity underlying stress and cognition in women.
Current Research Interest: Impact of emotion on different aspects of memory in younger and older people.
Current Research Interest: The intersection of emotion, cognition and aging - using both fMRI and psychophysiological methods.
Current Research Interest: the effects of arousal on episodic memory, with a particular focus on the locus coeruleus - norepinephrine system.
Current Research Interest: How age influences how emotional information is processed and remembered.Additional interests: Neuropsychological changes with age and difference s in emotional regulation strategies.
Hyun Joo Yoo, Ph.D.
Current Research Interest: How exercise induced arousal can affect memory selectively.
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