Principal Investigator
Head of the  Neurobiology of Learning Laboratory
Department of Behavioral and Cognitive Neurobiology Email:

Neuroscience, Learning and Memory
memory, learning, glucocorticoids, noradrenaline, stress hormones, striatum, amygdala, hippocampus

One of the goals of cognitive neuroscience is to study the brain mechanisms that underlie learning, consolidation and memory processes. It is a fact that experiences are not stored or remembered in the same way; in this sense, there is evidence that demonstrates that emotionally arousing negative or positive experiences tend to be stored as stronger memories. It is known that some adrenal hormones, such as epinephrine, norepinephrine and glucocorticoids, and several neurotransmitters, such as acetylcholine, norepinephrine, GABA, are involved in the complex processes that are mediate the learning of emotional experiences

Our research goals are mainly oriented to studying the involvement of adrenal stress hormones, and their relationship to several neurotransmitters (acetylcholine, GABA, serotonin, endocannabinoids, etc.) in a memory system that includes the striatum, a basal ganglion involved in memory consolidation that has glucocorticoid receptors, as well as the amygdala hippocampus, and cerebral cortex. Thus, the main activities of our laboratory consist of: a) performing stereotactic surgery for implantation of cannulas in several brain structures; b) using behavioral techniques such as inhibitory avoidance, water maze, the context or tone fear conditioning, Tolman maze, object recognition, motor behavior, etc.; c) systemic or intracranial administration of drugs; d) protein detection techniques including brain slicing, WesternBlots, ELISAs and immunohistochemistry; e) statistical analysis of the data obtained; f) publishing the results obtained; and g) the constant discussion of the literature of the field.

We are a consolidated group studying the relationships of stress with learning and memory processes. We keep productive collaborative projects with colleagues from both local and foreign institutions that have allowed for important contributions to our field of study. We would like to continue with the formulation and development of ideas and research programs that may contribute to the generation of scientific knowledge.