Adolescence - Professor Rick Richardson

What is this research about?

Adolescence has long been viewed as a time of storm-and-stress. A primary focus of the work in this project involves examining the impaired fear regulation in the adolescent. In addition, we explore the unique effects of stress at this stage of development.

Given that many anxiety disorders emerge in late childhood/early adolescence, much of our work in this area is aimed at improving our understanding of the unique features of fear regulatory circuits during this developmental stage. We use both behavioural and neural approaches in our work in this area.

Other researchers involved:

Kathryn Baker, PhD (Monash) - A Discovery Early Career Research Awardee (ARC) examining various aspects of fear inhibition in the adolescent rat.

Maddy Bisby - A student in the Combined PhD/Clinical MA program focusing on a pharmacological analysis of extinction in adolescent rats.

Anthea Stylianakis - A student in the Combined PhD/Clinical MA program examining the effects of stress on fear regulation in adolescents.

Publications relating to this research:

Baker. K.D. & Richardson, R. (in press). Pharmacological evidence that a failure to recruit NMDA receptors contributes to impaired fear extinction retention in adolescent rats. Neurobiology of Learning and Memory.

Baker, K.D., Bisby, M.A., & Richardson, R. (2016). Impaired Fear Extinction in Adolescent Rodents: Behavioural and Neural Analyses. Neuroscience and Biobehavioral Reviews, 70, 59-73.

Baker, K.D. & Richardson, R. (2015). Forming competing fear learning and extinction memories in adolescence makes fear difficult to inhibit. Learning & Memory, 22, 537-543.

Den, M.L., Graham, B.M., Newall, C., & Richardson, R. (2015). Teens that fear screams: A comparison of fear conditioning, extinction, and reinstatement in adolescents and adults. Developmental Psychobiology, 57, 818-832.

Den, M.L., Altmann, S.R., & Richardson, R. (2014). A comparison of the short- and long-term effects of corticosterone exposure on extinction in adolescence versus adulthood. Behavioral Neuroscience, 128, 722-735.

Baker, K.D., Den, M.L., Graham, B.M., & Richardson, R. (2014). A window of vulnerability: Impaired fear extinction in adolescence. Neurobiology of Learning and Memory, 113, 90-100.

Baker, K.D., McNally, G.P., & Richardson, R. (2013). Memory retrieval before or after extinction reduces recovery of fear in adolescent rats. Learning & Memory, 20, 467-473.

Den, M.L. & Richardson, R. (2013). Enhanced sensitivity to learning fearful associations during adolescence. Neurobiology of Learning and Memory, 104, 92-102.

Lab:

Richardson Lab