My research program is concerned with the neural mechanisms of learning and memory that underlie drug use and emotional regulation, with emphasis on neurophysiology. Compulsive drug seeking and drug taking are the hallmarks of addiction, and overcoming these behaviors has proven difficult. Regulating these behaviors can be achieved by enhancing extinction learning and inhibiting retrieval of drug-associated memories. Recent work in the lab has shown that drug seeking can be reduced or eliminated using a variety of pharmacological manipulations, and the neural mechanisms are currently under study. We use animal models of drug administration combined with electrophysiological (in vivo and in vitro), pharmacological, and molecular techniques. Currently, we are examining how sex differences and gonadal hormones contribute to extinction learning and retrieval. Understanding the neural bases of extinction and drug-associated memory retrieval could lead to the development of pharmacotherapies that improve therapeutic outcome of rehabilitation programs.
Ph.D., Concordia University (Montreal, Canada)
Doncheck, E.M., Hafenbreidel, M., Ruder, S.A., Torres, L., and Mueller, D. (2018). bFGF expression is differentially regulated by cocaine seeking versus extinction in learning-related brain regions. Learning & Memory, 25, 361-368.
Otis, J.M., Fitzgerald, M.K., Yousuf, H., Burkard, J., Drake, M., and Mueller, D. (2018). Prefrontal neuronal excitability maintains cocaine-associated memory during retrieval. Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience, 12, 119.
Otis, J.M., and Mueller, D. (2017). Reversal of cocaine-associated synaptic plasticity in prefrontal cortex parallels elimination of memory retrieval. Neuropsychopharmacology, 42, 2000-2010.
Hafenbreidel, M., Rafa Todd, C., and Mueller, D. (2017). Infralimbic GluN2A-containing NMDA receptors modulate reconsolidation of cocaine self-administration memory. Neuropsychopharmacology, 42, 1113-1125.
Fitzgerald, M.K., Otis, J.M., and Mueller, D. (2016). Dissociation of β1- and β2-adrenergic receptor subtypes in the retrieval of cocaine-associated memory. Behavioural Brain Research, 296, 94-99.
Hafenbreidel, M.*, Twining, R.C.*, Rafa Todd, C., and Mueller, D. (2015). Blocking infralimbic basic fibroblast growth factor (bFGF or FGF2) facilitates extinction of drug seeking after cocaine self-administration. Neuropsychopharmacology, 40, 2907-2915
Otis, J.M., Werner, C.T., and Mueller, D. (2015). Noradrenergic regulation of fear and drug-associated memory reconsolidation. Neuropsychopharmacology, 40, 793-803.
Hafenbreidel, M., Rafa Todd, C., Twining, R.C., Tuscher, J.J., and Mueller, D. (2014). Bidirectional effects of inhibiting or potentiating NMDA receptors on extinction after cocaine self-administration in rats. Psychopharmacology, 231, 4585-4594.
Otis, J.M., Fitzgerald, M.K., and Mueller, D. (2014). Infralimbic BDNF/TrkB enhancement of GluN2B currents facilitates extinction of a cocaine-conditioned place preference. The Journal of Neuroscience, 34, 6057-6064.
Otis, J.M., Fitzgerald, M.K., and Mueller, D. (2014). Inhibition of hippocampal β-adrenergic receptors impairs retrieval but not reconsolidation of cocaine-associated memory and prevents subsequent reinstatement. Neuropsychopharmacology, 39, 303-310.
Twining, R.C., Tuscher, J.J., Doncheck, E.M., Frick, K.M. and Mueller, D. (2013). 17β-Estradiol is necessary for extinction of cocaine seeking in female rats. Learning & Memory, 20, 300-306.
Otis, J.M., Dashew, K.D., and Mueller, D. (2013). Neurobiological dissociation of retrieval and reconsolidation of cocaine-associated memory. The Journal of Neuroscience, 33, 1271-1281.
Otis, J.M., and Mueller, D. (2011). Inhibition of β-adrenergic receptors induces a persistent deficit in retrieval of a cocaine-associated memory providing protection against reinstatement. Neuropsychopharmacology, 36, 1912-1920.
Mueller, D., and Cahill, S.P. (2010). Noradrenergic modulation of extinction learning and exposure therapy. Behavioural Brain Research, 208, 1-11.