Project C01: Making extinction last: role of spontaneous activity in a mesoprefrontal circuitry in long-term extinction memory consolidation

Principal Investigators

Prof. Dr. Raffael Kalisch

Professor and Director of Neuroimaging Center Mainz (NIC)

Group Leader at LIR

Prof. Dr. Albrecht Stroh

Head of Research Group “Molecular Imaging and Optogenetics” at the Institute of Pathophysiology

Head of the “Mainz Animal Imaging Center (MAIC)” and Group Leader at LIR

Project Team

Our Research

The project investigates the role of spontaneous activity in the vmPFC and in its mesocortical dopaminergic inputs in the consolidation of fear extinction memories. Resting-state fMRI is used both in rodents and in humans. Physiological insights obtained from combining fMRI with Calcium recordings and optogenetics in rodents will deepen our understanding of neurobiological mechanisms in humans; advanced multivoxel analysis methods in humans, in turn, will guide and inform the analysis of fMRI and Calcium recording data in the rodent.


Kalisch R, Gerlicher AMV, Duvarci S (2019) A Dopaminergic Basis for Fear Extinction. Trends Cogn Sci 23:274-7.

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Meyer B, Mann C, Götz M, Gerlicher A, Saase V, Yuen KSL, Aedo-Jury F, Gonzalez-Escamilla G, Stroh A, Kalisch R (2019) Increased Neural Activity in Mesostriatal Regions after Prefrontal Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation and l-DOPA Administration. J Neurosci 39:5326-35.

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Gerlicher AMV, Tüscher O, Kalisch R (2019) L-DOPA improves extinction memory retrieval after successful fear extinction. Psychopharmacology 236:3401-12.

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Gerlicher A, Tüscher O, Kalisch R (2018) Making extinction last: dopamine-dependent prefrontal reactivations explain long-term benefit of fear extinction. Nat Commun 9:4294.

>> Link to PubMed