The research laboratory was established in 2018. Our lab conducts behavioral neuroscience research with a translational approach. We aim to better understand the neurobiological background of mental disorders using animal models in order to identify potential targets for novel treatment strategies. Our work is mainly focused on the long-term effects of early-life stress, i.e. how early adverse factors contribute to vulnerability for the development of specific mental disorders.
Currently we study:
- cognitive traits and functional neuroanatomical correlates predicting susceptibility to the development of posttraumatic stress disorder;
- neurobiological and behavioral changes induced by perinatal asphyxia, with a focus on cognitive deficits;
- the role of epigenetic and neuroplasticity-related changes induced by the early-life social adversities in the development of abnormal aggression and social disturbances in adulthood.
In our ’top-down’ approach, we combine detailed behavioral characterization with neuroanatomical and molecular techniques, i.e. hormonal measurements, gene expression (qRT-PCR) and immunohistochemical analyses. For causality testing, we complement our studies with additional optogenetic, chemogenetic and pharmacological manipulations.
standing left to right: Brigitta Molár, Zoltán Kristóf Varga, Bíborka Bruzsik, Máté Tóth,
Bendegúz Áron Varga, Zsolt Borhegyi, Huba Szebik
climbing left to right: Gyula Balla, Christina Miskolczi, Diána Pejtsik, László Szente, Hanga Kelemen,
Róbert Maróthy, Manó Aliczki, Éva Mikics