Dr. Mouna Maroun

 

E-mail: mmaroun@psy.haifa.ac.il

Phone: 04-8288 634

 

Educational History:

Ph. D, Haifa University, Psychobiology, 2000

M.A Haifa University, Psychobiology, 1996, with honor

B.A Haifa University, Psychology, 1992

Academic ranks in institutes of higher education

 

2002            - Current: Lecturer, Faculty of Sciences, Haifa University.

2001            - Postdoctoral fellowship, Haifa University, The Brain and Behavior Center

1999-2001  - Postdoctoral fellowship, Laboratory of Neurobiology of Learning, Memory and Communication, Orsay, France. 

 

 

Research interests:

In my laboratory, we study the neurobiological basis of emotions. We combine behavioral, electrophysiological and pharmacological tools to assess how emotions alters neural mechanisms that subserv learning and memory.

We focus on studying the interaction between the amygdala and the medial prefrontal cortex; two brain structures implicated in emotions and memory processes, and how a negative emotional event (exposure to stress) remodel differentially learning and memory circuits in these regions.

We are also interested in studying the role of the medial prefrontal cortex in mediating processes that underlie fear conditioning and extinction.

Key words: emotions, plasticity, memory, medial prefrontal cortex, amygdala, consolidation, extinction.

 

Current projects:

 

1)   Electrophysiological characterization of the pathway emerging from the medial prefrontal cortex to the basolateral amygdala and its relevance to emotions.

2)   The role of the medial prefrontal cortex in fear conditioning and extinction. This project is in collaboration with Dr. Irit Akirav from the laboratory of Prof. Yadin Dudai from the Weizmann Institute, Rehovot.

3)   The role of PKA within the medial prefrontal cortex in fear conditioning and extinction. This project is in collaboration with the laboratory of Prof. Gal Richter-Levin.

 

Selected publications:

 

Maroun, M., and Richter-Levin, G. (2003): Exposure to acute stress blocks the induction of long-term potentiation in the amygdala-prefrontal cortex pathway in vivo. The Journal of Neuroscience, 23: 4406-4409.

 

Genin A, French P, Doyere V, Davis S, Errington ML, Maroun M, Stean T, Truchet B, Webber M, Wills T, Richter-Levin G, Sanger G, Hunt SP, Mallet J, Laroche S, Bliss TV, O'Connor V. (2003). LTP but not seizure is associated with up-regulation of AKAP-150. European Journal of Neuroscience, 17(2):331-340.

 

Maroun, M. and Richter-Levin, G. (2002). Local circuit plasticity in the rat dentate gyrus: characterization and aging-related impairment. Neuroscience, 112(4): 1001-7.

 

Maroun, M., Yaniv, D. and Richter-Levin, G., (2000). Plasticity in local neuronal circuits: In-vivo evidence from rat hippocampus and amygdala. In neuronal mechanisms of memory formation: concepts of long-term potentiation and beyond. Ed: Holscher, C., Cambridge University Press.

 

Rosenblum, K., Maroun, M., and Richter-Levin, G. (1999). Frequency-dependent inhibition in the dentate gyrus is attenuated by the NMDA receptor blocker MK-801 at doses, which do not yet affect long-term potentiation. Hippocampus 9: 491-494.