I am interested in understanding the neural mechanisms underlying the acquisition, consolidation, and retrieval of fear memories. Recent evidence suggests that the neurotransmitter acetylcholine modulates the activity of fear-related neural structures to affect fear learning. The most significant source of this acetylcholine comes from cholinergic neurons in the forebrain region. My PhD research project is currently investigating the role of these forebrain cholinergic neurons in the acquisition and extinction of fear memories.
Crimmins, B., Burton, T. J., McNulty, M., Laurent, V., Hart, G., & Balleine, B. W. (2022). Response-independent outcome presentations weaken the instrumental response-outcome association. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Animal Learning and Cognition, 48(4), 396–412. Read More.
Crimmins BE, Lingawi NW, Chieng BC, Leung BK, Maren S, Laurent V (2022) Basal forebrain cholinergic signaling in the basolateral amygdala promotes strength and durability of fear memories. Neuropsychopharmacology. Read More.
Laurent V, Priya P, Crimmins BE, Balleine BW (2021) General Pavlovian-instrumental transfer tests reveal selective inhibition of the response type - whether Pavlovian or instrumental - performed during extinction. Neurobiol Learn Mem, 107483. Read More