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Douglas Caruana


    • School of Life & Health Sciences, Aston University, Aston Triangle

      B4 7ET Birmingham

      United Kingdom

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    Personal profile

    Research Interests

    Memory is a highly complex cognitive function that involves interactions between numerous brain structures, proteins and signalling molecules. Indeed, experience-dependent changes in the strength of synaptic connections between neurons are thought to underlie information storage in the brain. Thus, understanding the highly elastic nature — or the 'plasticity' — of synapses is critical to uncovering how the brain converts our individual experiences into lasting memories. To this end, modulatory neurotransmitter systems play a central role in shaping synaptic processes involved in the encoding and retention of information within neural circuits. A fundamental problem remains, though, in understanding how extrinsic factors recruit, mimic or even hijack these endogenous regulatory signals to affect the development of brain systems critical to cognitive and mnemonic function. The primary focus of my research is in determining how the hippocampus and parahippocampal cortices integrate signals from multiple sensory modalities during the encoding of new memories, as well as in determining how neuromodulatory transmitter systems regulate the synaptic mechanisms required to retain these memories over time. My long-term goal is to understand how environmental factors (e.g., caffeine intake) influence the development of synaptic function critical to cognition and behaviour.

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    • 8 Similar Profiles
    Entorhinal Cortex Medicine & Life Sciences
    Neuronal Plasticity Medicine & Life Sciences
    Dopamine Medicine & Life Sciences
    Hippocampus Medicine & Life Sciences
    Synaptic Transmission Medicine & Life Sciences
    Prefrontal Cortex Medicine & Life Sciences
    Excitatory Postsynaptic Potentials Medicine & Life Sciences
    Long-Term Synaptic Depression Medicine & Life Sciences

    Research Output 2005 2015

    Role of the vasopressin 1b receptor in rodent aggressive behavior and synaptic plasticity in hippocampal area CA2

    Pagani, J. H., Zhao, M., Cui, Z., Avram, S. K. W., Caruana, D. A., Dudek, S. M. & Young, W. S., 1 Apr 2015, In : Molecular Psychiatry. 20, 4, p. 490-499 10 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Open Access
    Vasopressin Receptors
    Neuronal Plasticity
    Calcium-Calmodulin-Dependent Protein Kinase Type 2
    Pyramidal Cells

    Dopaminergic enhancement of excitatory synaptic transmission in layer II entorhinal neurons is dependent on D1-like receptor-mediated signaling

    Glovaci, I., Caruana, D. A. & Chapman, C. A., 31 Jan 2014, In : Neuroscience. 258, p. 74-83 10 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Synaptic Transmission
    Excitatory Postsynaptic Potentials
    Cyclic AMP-Dependent Protein Kinases

    Caffeine-induced synaptic potentiation in hippocampal CA2 neurons

    Simons, S. B., Caruana, D. A., Zhao, M. & Dudek, S. M., 1 Jan 2012, In : Nature Neuroscience. 15, 1, p. 23-25 3 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Open Access
    Purinergic P1 Receptors
    Synaptic Transmission

    Induction of activity-dependent LTD requires muscarinic receptor activation in medial prefrontal cortex

    Caruana, D. A., Warburton, E. C. & Bashir, Z. I., 14 Dec 2011, In : Journal of Neuroscience. 31, 50, p. 18464-18478 15 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Open Access
    Muscarinic Receptors
    Prefrontal Cortex

    Anterior thalamic lesions stop synaptic plasticity in retrosplenial cortex slices: expanding the pathology of diencephalic amnesia

    Garden, D. L. F., Massey, P. V., Caruana, D. A., Johnson, B., Warburton, E. C., Aggleton, J. P. & Bashir, Z. I., 1 Jul 2009, In : Brain. 132, 7, p. 1847-1857 11 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Neuronal Plasticity
    Anterior Thalamic Nuclei