Gordon Research Conferences
Meeting Details

Amygdala Function in Emotion, Cognition & Disease
Gordon Research Conference

Emerging Perspectives on the Role of the Amygdala in Regulating Higher-Order Behavior and Neuropsychiatric Disease


August 6-11, 2017


Stonehill College
Easton, MA Site Information


Andrew Holmes

Vice Chair:
Kay M. Tye

Application Deadline

Applications for this meeting must be submitted by July 9, 2017. Please apply early, as some meetings become oversubscribed (full) before this deadline. If the meeting is oversubscribed, it will be stated here. Note: Applications for oversubscribed meetings will only be considered by the Conference Chair if more seats become available due to cancellations.

Meeting Description

The amygdala is a brain structure known to play a pivotal role in emotion, and has become the focus of interest to neuroscientists and the lay public in recent years. Rapid progress has been made in elucidating the cellular and molecular plasticity mechanisms involved in the acquisition and expression of conditioned fear, largely using rodent models. However, there has been growing appreciation of the critical role of the amygdala in reward processing and other brain functions that become abnormal in addiction. There is marked overlap in the amygdala plasticity mechanisms found to be maladaptive in models of, for example, drug abuse and anxiety. Added to this is a compelling body of clinical evidence implicating the amygdala in disorders ranging from PTSD, autism to substance abuse and other addictions. The meeting will focus on research investigating the role of the amygdala in both normal and pathological processes spanning multiple levels of neural organization - from molecular and cellular mechanisms at one end, to circuits, networks, behavior and disease at the other. An overarching rationale for this meeting is to bring together amygdala scientists and scientist-clinicians with differing scientific questions and approaches that have advanced our understanding of the biological basis of behavior and illness. Meaningful interactions between scientists with different questions, different techniques, and different levels of analysis, with clinician-scientists will serve as an impetus for new collaborations that may translate basic discovery research findings. The meeting will reflect on ongoing shift in psychiatry towards framing the study of mental illness in terms of aberrant neural circuit functions. The amygdala is recognized as a central node within brain systems subserving an array of higher-order behaviors that are disturbed in various mental disorders. This meeting is expected to continue to be an exemplar for brain and psychiatric research over the coming years.

Related Meeting

This GRC will be held in conjunction with the "Amygdala Function in Emotion, Cognition & Disease" Gordon Research Seminar (GRS). Those interested in attending both meetings must submit an application for the GRS in addition to an application for the GRC. Refer to the associated GRS program page for more information.


Preliminary Program

The topics and speakers for the conference sessions are displayed below (italics denote discussion leaders). The Conference Chair is currently developing their detailed program, which will include the complete meeting schedule, as well as the talk titles for all speakers. The detailed program will be available by April 6, 2017. Please check back for updates.

  • The Amygdala in Addiction, Anxiety and Psychiatric Disease: What We Currently Know
    (Kerry Ressler / Joshua Gordon / George Koob)
  • The Developing Amygdala: Dynamic Amygdala Regulation of Behavior over Development
    (Katalin Gothard / Catherine Hartley / Rick Richardson / Regina Sullivan / Marie Monfils / Nim Tottenham / Mark Ansorge)
  • The Engrammatic Amygdala: Amygdala Neuronal Ensembles Underlying Behavior
    (Ron Stoop / Sheena Josselyn / Leon Reijmers / Mark Schnitzer / Larry Zweifel)
  • The Networked Amygdala: The Amygdala's Role in Systems-Wide Brain Networks for Behavior
    (Thomas Kash / Cyril Herry / Christina Alberini / Joshua Johansen / Mario Penzo / Alexei Morozov / Ingrid Ehrlich)
  • The Addicted Amygdala: Amygdala Control of Compulsion and Relapse in Addiction
    (Stan Floresco / Bernard Balleine / Rony Paz / Yavin Shaham / Jane Taylor)
  • The Micro-Circuitry of the Amygdala: Intrinsic Circuits and Cell Populations Mediating Amygdala Functions
    (Vadim Bolshakov / Andreas Luthi / Stephen Maren / Rebecca Shansky / Bo Li / Ivan de Araujo)
  • The Stressed Amygdala: Amygdala Responses and Regulation of Stressful Experience
    (Matthew Hill / Alon Chen / Chris Pape / Sachin Patel / Michael Fanselow)
  • The Rewarded Amygdala: Amygdala Control of Positive Valence in Healthy and Drug-Exposed Brains
    (Betsy Murray / Nicholas Gilpin / Patricia Janak / Daniel Salzman / Anna Beyeler / Alicia Izquierdo / Pankaj Sah)
  • The Fearful Amygdala: Amygdala-Mediated Formation, Discrimination and Inhibition of Fearful Memories
    (Denis Pare / Roger Clem / Daniela Schiller / Gregory Quirk / Shona Chattarji)
  • Power Hour
    (Sheena Josselyn, Jane Taylor)
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