Donald A. Wilson

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Donald A. Wilson, Ph.D.

Departments of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (Hoagwood Rsch) and Neuroscience and Physiology (Neuro/Phys)

Contact Info

Emotional Brain Institute
Nathan Kline Institute for Psychiatric Research
Orangeburg, NY 10962


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1979-1983 — McMaster Univ, Graduate Education
1984-1988 — University of California at Irvine, PostDoctoral Training

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Research Interests

My lab and I are interested in how the mammalian brain processes and remembers information. As a model system we focus on rat discrimination and memory for odors. Using electrophysiological, behavioral, neuroanatomical and pharmacological approaches, we explore the neurobiology of memory and the role of experience in sensory system function. The underlying hypothesis of much of our work is that memory plays a critical role in even basic sensory discrimination. In addition, we are interested in how experience and pathology across the life span can influence sensory system function and perception. For example, we are interested in how disruptions of even very simple neural mechanisms during early development can lead to a cascade of long-lasting consequences for brain and behavior, and how the deposition of amyloid proteins in the brain in an animal model of Alzheimer's disease shape sensory coding and perception. An overview of our understanding of odor perception is summarized in the TEDx talk linked above.