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Séminaire - Carsten Wotjak

Abstract :

Anxiety disorders such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), generalized anxiety disorder, specific and social phobias, panic disorder and agoraphobia belong to the most prevalent psychiatric disorders in Western societies with enormous individual and economic burden. The success of therapeutic intervention is limited, which may be due to the fact that our understanding of disease mechanisms is still in its infancy. Our research group has pioneered the establishment of mouse models of psychiatric diseases and emotional dysregulation. We also achieved major contributions regarding the neurobiology of the endocannabinoid system in development and extinction of exaggerated fear. In addition, we unraveled major factors of the interrelationship between anxiety and cognition. Our studies combine in vivo electrophysiology, optogenetic and pharmacogenetic techniques, in vivo microdialysis, behavioral pharmacology, in vivo imaging (magnetic resonance spectroscopy, manganese-enhanced MRI), histochemical and molecular analyses in wild-type and mutant mice. Group members have a strong background in behavioral biology, psychology, pharmacology, psychiatry and electronics.