报告题目： Decision making in learned helplessness: transition in state from an action style to give-up style
报告人：Nashat Abumaria Ph.D.Institutes of Brain Science ; Department of Laboratory Animal Science School of medicine, Fudan University.
Dr. Nashat Abumaria received his bachelor's degree in pharmacy (Dr. Pharmacist) from the University of Jordan in 2001. In 2006, he obtained his Ph.D. degree in neurosciences from the International Max-Planck Research School, Göttingen University, Germany (Prof. Eberhard Fuchs Lab). Upon completion of his first postdoctoral fellowship at the Laboratory of Clinical Neurobiology, German Primate Center in 2007, he moved to China and worked as a postdoctoral researcher at Center for Learning and Memory in Tsinghua University. In 2011, he was appointed as a research associated professor in the Department of Basic Medical Research, School of Medicine, Tsinghua University. Currently, he is a professor and principle investigator at Institutes of Brain Science and Department of Laboratory Animal Science, School of medicine, Fudan University. Dr. Abumaria has authored 16 papers; two of his publications were reproduced in human subjects. He received several awards, fellowships and grants. He has been actively engaged in teaching courses including neuropharmacology, physiology and psychology. He is on the editorial board of several journals including Cellular and Molecular Neurobiology, Frontier in Molecular Neuroscience and other peer-reviewed journals.
The feeling of lack of control in any situation is uncomfortable and, when persistent, can result in learned helplessness. Learned helplessness has often been associated with several psychiatric disorders such as depression, PTSD and certain phobias. Majority of neurobiological studies view learned helplessness as a behavioral deficit resulted from cognitive impairment due to exposure to repeated uncontrollable stress. From cognitive psychology point of view, repeated exposure to uncontrollable situations will cause a transition in the cognitive state, during which the subject’s engagement will shift from action style to a give up style. Therefore, helplessness might be a result of learning and decision making processes during which higher brain regions compute the values for each option and compare those values to make a final decision; that is keep fighting or give up. Though interesting, so far there has been no experimental evidence supporting this innovative view of learned helplessness. In addition, if such transition in cognitive state exists, the brain regions/circuitries engaged in such learning and decision making remain unknown.
Using the classical learned helplessness paradigm in mice, we have developed a new behavioral assay to monitor the mouse behavior during exposure to inescapable stress (repeated electrical foot-shocks). Currently, we are conducting biochemical, lesion, optogenetic experiments and utilizing genetically modified animals to identify the neurochemical and circuitry underlying such behavioral transition