Jeffrey Rosen

Assistant Professor 
Ph.D., Wayne State University, 1986 

Department of Psychology
Phone: (302) 831-4209: Office

Office: Room 243 Wolf Hall: (302) 831-3645: Fax 

Research Interests

I joined the University of Delaware Biopsychology Program in 1995 after conducting research for several years at the National Institutes of Health. I am very excited about being at Delaware: The Psychology Department has a number of experts in the field of emotion research and is a great place for cross-fertilization of ideas from people working on various aspects of emotion. My interests in emotion research are in understanding the physiological, neuroanatomical and molecular bases of fear and anxiety. To approach these problems, we study fear-related behaviors that have defined neuroanatomical circuits, such as fear-potentiated startle and fear-induced freezing or immobility in rats. Experiments are designed to study the pharmacology, biochemistry and molecular biology of fear within the neural circuits that mediate these fear-related behaviors. We use numerous techniques including brain stimulation and lesions, anatomical tracing, administration of drugs, and detection of proteins and messenger RNA using in situ hybridization, immunohistochemistry, and Northern and Western blotting.

I am also interested in understanding how pathological anxiety may develop from normal, adaptive fear. I think one of the key elements in this process is the development of hyperexcitability in brain circuits that mediate fear, so that responses to threatening stimuli become exaggerated. To experimentally investigate this hypothesis, we induce hyperexcitability in the brain by repeated electrical stimulation (kindling) or drug administration. As a result of these procedures animals become more sensitive to further stimulation. Because the brain structures involved in this hyperexcitability are also those that mediate fear, we are finding that hyperexcitability produces exaggerated fear responses (see Rosen et al. 1996 in the publication list below). Determining the neurobiology of hyperexcitability and exaggeration of fear should have important implications for our understanding of how anxiety disorders may develop.

Recent Publications

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