Gretchen Hanson Gotthard
Dean, Academic Life
I teach courses in psychology and neuroscience. Because my research focuses on learning and memory and applications to psychological disorders, I teach a variety of classes that speak to these topics.
Courses I teach in the Psychology Department include Introductory Psychology, Biological Psychology, Learning & Behavior, and Memory & Amnesia. My Neuroscience courses include Brain & Behavior with Lab, Neuroscience of Anxiety, and the CUE in Neuroscience.
Office Hours: By appointment - click here to schedule a time.
Research, Scholarship or Creative/Artistic Interests
Our work examines how memories are created (consolidated) and modified (reconsolidated) in three organisms—slime mold (Physarum polycephalum), rats and humans. Our work with Physarum polycephalum—a single-celled organism that has no brain (!)—manipulates reconsolidation processes using simple habituation tasks and herbal compounds as amnesic agents (e.g., Valerian root).
Researchers in our rat lab use appetitively-motivated tasks where rats are trained to dig for buried sweet cereal rewards. We employ pharmacological agents (e.g., protein synthesis inhibitors and beta-adrenergic receptor antagonists) to disrupt (re)consolidation in our rat model.
Researchers in our human memory lab employ a variety of appetitive tasks that measure not only declarative (conscious) memory (i.e., episodic and semantic memory), but also nondeclarative (less-conscious) memory for the task (e.g., physiological responses).
The ultimate goal of our lab is to apply our work to aspects of treatment for memory-based forms of human psychopathology (e.g., depression and anxiety).
If you are interested in applying for a Research Assistant position in the Gotthard Lab, please print and fill out the Gotthard Lab Research Assistant Application.