Psychiatric disorders

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We study depression, anxiety and addiction, as well as schizophrenia, and deficits in attention & inhibitory control

• We use social defeat in rats as a paradigm to study the molecular and cellular mechanisms of how the cognitive deficits observed in depression can be a persistent affliction even after remission from depression itself (Sabine Spijker).

• We use fear conditioning paradigms to reveal the mechanisms of persistent maladaptive memory, and how these can be encoded in the brain (learning & memory). As such we use different mouse mutant and transgenic lines.

• We study animal models of addiction, to answer how the memory of addicted drugs and associated cues brings about relapse to drug taking, and how we can modify these memories (Taco de Vries, Sabine Spijker).

• We study schizophrenia, in cellular models with the aim to translate genetic findings to cellular and synaptic physiology, as well as in mutant mice (Ronald van Kesteren).

• We study defects in inhibitory control (impulsivity) and attention, questioning which genes are underlying this and how these processes change over time, e.g. from adolescent to adult (Sabine Spijker).

Using cellular and animal models, we analyse and intervene with gene mutations, based on altered gene and synaptic protein expression. This research is carried out by the teams of Sabine Spijker, Michel van den Oever, Taco de Vries, Mark Verheijen, and Ronald van Kesteren.