Friday, March 6, 2009

Neuroscience of Emotion Explored at Washington College

Chestertown, MD — Dr. Jeffrey Rosen, Associate Professor of Psychology at the University of Delaware, will present "The Emotional Amygdala: Conditioned Fear, Unconditioned Fear and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder" at Washington College's Litrenta Lecture Hall, located in the John S. Toll Science Center, on Wednesday, March 25, at 4:30 p.m. Admission is free and open to the public.

The amygdala, an almond-sized and -shaped brain structure, has long been linked with a person's mental and emotional state. But thanks to scientific advances, researchers have recently grasped how important this 1-inch-long structure really is. Associated with a range of mental conditions from normalcy to depression to even autism, the amygdala has become the focal point of numerous research projects.

Dr. Rosen, who earned his Ph.D. at Wayne State University, specializes in the neurobiology of emotion. "My research interests in emotion are in understanding the physiological, neuroanatomical and molecular bases of fear and anxiety," he explained.

"To approach these problems, we study fear-related behaviors.... Experiments are designed to study the pharmacology, biochemistry and molecular biology of fear within the neural circuits that mediate these fear-related behaviors. ... In addition to delineating the neurobiology of fear, these studies should have important implications for our understanding of the neural basis of anxiety disorders."

Dr. Rosen's Washington College lecture is presented by the Daniel Z. Gibson and John A. Wagner Visitors Fund, the Department of Psychology and the Washington College Chapter of Sigma Xi.

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