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Department of Neurophysiology
Laboratory of Defensive Conditioned Reflexes
Laboratory of Ethology
Laboratory of Limbic System
Laboratory of Molecular and Systemic Neuromorphology
Interinstitute Laboratory of Neuromuscular Plasticity
Laboratory of Neuropsychology
Laboratory of Psychophysiology
Laboratory of Reinnervation Processes
Laboratory of Visual System
Laboratory of Preclinical Studies in Neurodegenerative Diseases
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nencki.gov.pl » Working Groups » Department of Neurophysiology »
Laboratory of Defensive Conditioned Reflexes

Tomasz WERKA

Janusz BŁASZCZYK, Maciej STASIAK, Joanna SADOWSKA (technician)

Research profile

Our research is focused on the analysis of behavioral responses and their neural substrates evoked by a positive and/or a negative emotiogenic stimuli. Special attention is paid to neurobiological mechanisms of social interaction, emotional memory, strategies of learning, mechanisms of defensive and alimentary conditioning, Moreover, differences between states of fear and anxiety, as well as significance of ontogenetic and phylogenetic factors are also examined. The advanced behavioral methods are combined with a variety of immuno-cytochemical, pharmacological, neuroanatomical and lesion techniques.

Current research activities

  • functions of the limbic structures with special emphasis on the functional organization of the amygdaloid complex;
  • neuronal, molecular, and behavioral processes involved in between-subject transfer of emotional information;
  • the cognitive and emotional mechanisms of Pavlovian and instrumental conditioning;
  • neural and molecular basis of fear and anxiety; animal behavioral models of neuropsychiatric disorders;
  • factors influencing selective attention and habituation processes;
  • a significance of the phylogenetic, ontogenetic, and developmental factors on the cognitive and emotional behavior;
  • comparative behavioral studies on representatives of different animal species.

Selected publications

Juszczak G., R., Błaszczyk J., Sadowski B., Śliwa A, Wolak P., Tymosiak-Zielińska A., Lisowski P., Świergiel A., H. (2008). Lipopolysaccharide does not affect accoustic startle reflex in mice. Brain Behav. Immun. 22: 74-79.

Steele-Russell I., Russell M., I., Castiglioni J., A., Setlow B., Werka T. (2008). The role of sensory pathways in Pavlovian conditioning in rabbit. Exp. Brain Res. 185:199-213.

Knapska E., Radwańska K., Werka T., Kaczmarek L. (2007) Functional internal complexity of amygdala: Focus on gene activity mapping after behavioral training and drugs of abuse. Physiol. Rev. 87: 1113-1173.

Knapska E., Walasek G., Nikolaev E., Neuhäusser-Wespy F., Lipp H-P., Kaczmarek L., Werka T. (2006)  Differential involvement of the central amygdala in appetitive versus aversive learning. Learning & Mem. 13: 192-200.

Knapska E., Nikolaev E., Boguszewski P., Walasek G., Błaszczyk J., Karczmarek L., Werka T. (2006) Between-subject transfer of emotional information evokes specific pattern of amygdala activation. Proc. Nat. Acad. Sci.USA 103: 3858-3862. 

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Published at: 2008-04-24 14:16

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