CURRENT LAB MEMBERS

COLLABORATORS

FORMER RESEARCH ASSISTANTS

Lauren
Atlas
Tobias Brosch Mauricio Delgado Sonya Dougal Lasana Harris Erno Hermans
Jeni
Kubota

Jian
Li
Ulrike Rimmele Daniela Schiller Damian Stanley
Adam Anderson Annemieke Apergis-
Schoute
Nina Curley Emma Ferney-
hough
Sumi
Funayama
Catherine Hartley Kevin Labar Sara Levens Andreas Olsson
Candace
M. Raio
Tali Sharot
Elisa
Steinfurth



Post-doctoral fellow
Assistant Professor for Psychiatry and Neuroscience
Mount Sinai School of Medicine

Personal website: Daniela Schiller, Ph. D.

Research:

The Neural mechanisms of emotional control and flexibility

My line of research focuses on the neural mechanisms underlying emotional control. Because the environment we live in is constantly changing, our learned emotional responses need to be continuously updated to appropriately reflect current circumstances. Understanding the neural mechanisms that make such emotional flexibility may shed light on the impairments leading to anxiety disorders and may also promote new forms of treatment.

In my doctoral research I studied one such aspect of emotional learning, namely, the ability to acquire emotional responses to previously ignored stimuli, which is impaired in patients suffering from chronic schizophrenia. Under the mentorship of Ina Weiner, I developed an animal model of this symptom (persistent latent inhibition) and examined the underlying neural circuitry, as well as the efficacy of antipsychotic drugs in ameliorating it.

For post-doctoral training, I chose to extend my knowledge to human emotional systems under the mentorship of Elizabeth Phelps and Joseph LeDoux. Together, we came up with a translational research program aimed at extending fundamental findings in rats to humans. This research project includes parallel findings in rats and humans on the recovery of extinguished fear, elucidation of the neural circuitry of flexible fear reversal, and how fear motivates instrumental responding. In addition, to extend these findings to more complex situations unique to humans, I’m investigating how emotional systems are recruited to rapidly evaluate others during initial social encounters.

Finally, in extreme situations, when emotional memories become traumatic, it might be beneficial to erase fear memories altogether preventing them from resurfacing. New evidence in rats and other non-human species suggests this might be possible using pharmacological manipulations. However, these finding have yet to be demonstrated convincingly in humans. I’m currently testing this possibility, by examining whether emotional memories induced in the laboratory can be erased using beta-adrenergic receptor blockade as well as drug-free behavioral manipulations. These studies are essential in providing a critical link between animal models and the clinical population.

Research:

Peer-reviewed publications

Schiller D and Delgado MR (2010) Overlapping neural systems mediating extinction reversal and regulation of fear. Trends in Cognitive Sciences 14:268-276 [PDF]

Schiller D, Monfils M, Raio CM, Johnson D, LeDoux JE, Phelps EA (2010) Blocking the return of fear in humans using reconsolidation update mechanisms. Nature 463:49-53 . [PDF]

See also:

News and Views by Quirk & Milad [PDF]

Nature video feature [link]

Article in the New York Times [link]

Nature Podcast pick of most important studies of the year 2009 [link]

Freeman JB, Schiller D, Rule NO, Ambady N (2010) The neural origins of superficial and individuated social judgments about ingroup and outgroup members. Human Brain Mapping,31:150-159. [PDF]

Schiller D, Freeman JB, Mitchell JP, Uleman JS, Phelps EA (2009) A neural mechanism of first impressions. Nature Neuroscience, 12:508-514. [PRESS] [PDF]

Schiller D, Johansen J (2009) Prelimbic prefrontal neurons drive fear expression: A clue for extinction-reconsolidation interactions. The Journal of Neuroscience 29:13432-13434 [PDF]

Schiller D, Levy I, Niv Y, LeDoux JE, Phelps EA (2008) From fear to safety and back – reversal of fear in the human brain. The Journal of Neuroscience 28:11517-11525 [PDF]

Delgado MR, Li J, Schiller D, Phelps EA (2008) Review: The role of striatum in aversive learning and aversive prediction errors. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B 363:3787-3800 [PDF]

Schiller D, Cain CK, Curley NG, Schwartz J, Stern SA, LeDoux JE, Phelps EA (2008) Evidence for recovery of fear following immediate extinction in rats and humans. Learning & Memory 15:394-402 [PDF]

Schiller D, Zuckerman L, Weiner I (2006) Abnormally persistent latent inhibition induced by lesions to the nucleus accumbens core, basolateral amygdala and orbitofrontal cortex is reversed by clozapine but not by haloperidol. Journal of Psychiatric Research 40:167-177 [PDF]

Schiller D and Weiner I (2005) Basolateral amygdala lesions in the rat produce an abnormally persistent latent inhibition with weak preexposure but not with context shift. Behavioural Brain Research 163:115-121 [PDF]

Gal G, Schiller D, Weiner I (2005) Latent inhibition is disrupted by nucleus accumbens shell lesion but is abnormally persistent following entire nucleus accumbens lesion: The neural site controlling the expression and disruption of the stimulus preexposure effect. Behavioural Brain Research 162:246-255 [PDF]

Joel D, Doljansky J, Schiller D (2005) ‘Compulsive’ lever-pressing in rats is enhanced following lesions to the orbital cortex, but not to the basolateral nucleus of the amygdala or to the medial prefrontal cortex. European Journal of Neuroscience 21:2252-2262 [PDF]

Schiller D and Weiner I (2004) Lesions to the basolateral amygdala and the orbitofrontal cortex but not to the medial prefrontal cortex produce an abnormally persistent latent inhibition in rats. Neuroscience 128: 15-25 [PDF]

Weiner I, Schiller D, Gaisler I (2003) Disruption and potentiation of latent inhibition by risperidone: The latent inhibition model of atypical antipsychotic action. Neuropsychopharmacology 28:499-509 [PDF]

Weiner I, Schiller D, Gaisler I, Green A, Joel D (2003) A comparison of drug effects in latent inhibition and the forced swim test differentiates between the typical antipsychotic haloperidol, the atypical antipsychotics clozapine and olanzapine and the antidepressants imipramine and paroxetine. Behavioral Pharmachology 14:215-222 [PDF]

Shadach E, Gaisler I, Schiller D, Weiner I (2000) The latent inhibition model dissociates between clozapine, haloperidol and ritanserin. Neuropsychopharmacology 23:151-161 [PDF]

Weiner I, Gaisler I, Schiller D, Green A, Zuckerman L, Joel D (2000) Screening of antipsychotic drugs in animal models. Drug Development Research 50:235-249 [PDF]

Book Chapters:
LeDoux JE and Schiller D (2009) What animal fear models have taught us about human amygdala function? The Human Amygdala. Whalen, PJ & Phelps, EA. eds. New York: Guilford [LINK]

Schiller D and Phelps EA (2009) The neuroscience of emotional learning. Oxford Companion to Affective Sciences. Sander, D & Scherer, KR. eds. Oxford University Press [LINK]

LeDoux JE, Schiller D, and Cain CK (2009) Emotional reaction and action: From threat processing to goal-directed behavior. The New Cognitive Neurosciences, 4th Edition. Gazzaniga, MS. ed. MIT Press [LINK]

Schiller D, Levy I, and Delgado MR (in preparation). Emotional learning and memory. The Oxford Handbook of Cognitive Neuroscience. Ochsner K. and Kosslyn S. eds. Oxford University Press

Schiller D and Phelps EA (in preparation). Emotional learning in the human brain. The Encyclopedia of the Mind. Pashler H. ed. SAGE Publications, Inc

Commentaries:
Snakes in the MRI machine / Scientific American [LINK]

Projects in Progress:
Schiller D, Kanen J, Martin K, Debiec J, LeDoux JE, Phelps EA. The effects of beta-adrenergic receptor blockade on reconsolidation of fear memories in humans

Schiller D, Kanen J, LeDoux JE, Phelps EA. Neuroimaging assessment of the mechanisms underlying behavioral blockade of reconsolidation in humans

Symposia:
2010 Annual Meeting of the Society for Neuroscience, San Diego, CA: "Erasing Fear Memories with Extinction" Chairs: Greg Quirk and Dennis Pare. Speakers: Rick Richardson, Cyril Herry, Marie Monfils and Daniela Schiller

2009 Annual Meeting of the Cognitive Neuroscience Society, San Francisco, CA: “The key to prevent the return of fear memories – extinction versus reconsolidation” Chairs: Daniela Schiller and Karim Nader. Speakers: Muhammed Milad, Karim Nader, Marie Monfils, and Daniela Schiller [LINK]

2009 Sensation to Emotion conference, New York, NY: “Sensory Processing and Emotion Regulation: Interdisciplinary Perspectives” Chair: Joseph LeDoux. Speakers: Marylene Cloitre, Kevin LaBar, Daniela Schiller, Nancy L. Zucker, Zachary Rosenthal [LINK]

2008 Annual Meeting of the Cognitive Neuroscience Society, San Francisco, CA: “The Power of Expectancy in the Human Brain” Chair: Jack Nitschke. Speakers: Brian Knutson, Daniela Schiller, Jack B. Nitschke, Jon-Kar Zubieta [PDF]

2008 Annual Meeting of the Cognitive Neuroscience Society, San Francisco, CA: “The relationship between social cognition and emotion” Chair: Kevin Ochsner. Speakers: Daniela Schiller, Jennifer S. Beer, Christian Keysers, Kevin N. Ochsner [PDF]

Invited Talks:
• 2010 Translational Research in Psychiatry, Innsbruck, Austria [LINK]

• 2010 International Neuropsychological Symposium, Ischia, Italy

• 2010 Yale School of Medicine, Department for Psychiatry

• 2010 Mt. Sinai School of Medicine, Department for Psychiatry

• 2010 BatSheva Seminar on Reward and decision making in the brain, Israel • 2010 Weizmann Institute of Science, Israel

• 2010 Psychology Department, Tel Aviv University, Israel

• 2009 Department of Psychology, Harvard University

• 2009 Languages of Emotion Cluster of Excellence at Freie Universität, Berlin, Germany

• 2009 Department of Psychology, University of Illinois at Chicago

• 2009 International symposium on Fear, anxiety, anxiety disorders, Münster, Germany

• 2009 Neuroscience of Social Decision Making (NSDM) series, Princeton University

• 2009 Functional Imaging Lab, UCL, London

• 2009 Department of Experimental Psychology, University of Cambridge, UK

• 2009 McGovern Institute, MIT

• 2008 HSS division at Caltech: The neural mechanisms of emotional control and flexibility

• 2008 Sackler Institute for Developmental Psychobiology, Weill Medical College of Cornell University: Preventing the return of fear – parallel evidence from animals and humans

• 2008 Center for the Study of Brain Mind and Behavior, Princeton University: Assigning value – from fear predictive objects to people

• 2007 Psychology Department, Rutgers University: The neural correlates of first Impressions

• 2007 Human Neuroimaging Lab, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX: Evaluations of conflicting information in a social and a non-social context

• 2006 Department of Experimental Psychology, University of Cambridge, UK: Reconsolidation of emotional memory in humans

• 2006 Behavioural Neuroscience Seminars, Department of Experimental Psychology, University of Cambridge, UK: From reaction to action: actions reinforced by fear termination

• 2006 Alpine Brain Imaging Meeting, Champéry, Switzerland: Emotional Unlearning

Conference Presentations:
Schiller D, Cain CK, Kuhlman K, Ledoux JE, Phelps EA (2009) Active coping – role of amygdala-striatal circuitry in humans. Third Annual Tufts University Conference on Emerging Trends in Behavioral, Affective, Social, and Cognitive (BASC) Neurosciences. Medford, MA.

Schiller D, Cain CK, Kuhlman K, Ledoux JE, Phelps EA (2009) The role of the human amygdala-striatal circuitry in active coping with aversive events. Gordon Research Conference on Amygdala In Health & Disease. Waterville, ME.

Schiller D, Monfils M, Johnson DC, Raio CM, , LeDoux JE, Phelps EA
(2008) Retrieval Prior to Extinction Prevents the Return of Fear. International Symposium of Attention & Performance XXIII: Decision Making, Stowe, VT

Schiller D, Monfils M, Raio CM, Johnson DC, LeDoux JE, Phelps EA
(2008) Extinction during reconsolidation prevents the return of fear
in humans. Annual Meeting of the Pavlovian Society for Neuroscience, New Jersey

Schiller D, Monfils M, Johnson DC, Raio CM, LeDoux JE, Phelps EA (2008) Behavioral blockade of the return of fear in humans. Annual Meeting of the Society for Neuroscience, Washington, DC [Abstract]

Harris LT, Schiller D, Fiske S, Phelps EA (2008) Escape from disgust: Emotion motivates mental and physical avoidance of social targets. Annual Meeting of the Society for Neuroeconomics, Canyons Resort, Park City, Utah

Freeman J, Schiller D, Rule NO, Phelps EA, Ambady N (2008) Separable (and race-selective) neural mechanisms for judging individuated and non-individuated others. Social & Affective Neuroscience Conference, Boston [Abstract]

Schiller D, Freeman JB, Mitchell JP, Uleman JS, Phelps EA (2007) Assigning value to people – role of PCC and amygdala. Annual Meeting of the Society for Neuroeconomics, Hull, MA [Abstract][Poster]

Schiller D, Levy I, Delgado MR, Apergis-Schoute AM, Ledoux JE, Phelps EA (2007) Overlapping neural systems mediating extinction, reversal and regulation of fear. Annual Meeting of the Society for Neuroscience, San Diego, CA [Abstract][PDF]

Curley NG, Stern SA, Schwartz J, Cain CK, Schiller D, Ledoux JE, Phelps EA (2007) Evidence for the recovery of fear following immediate extinction in rats and humans. Annual Meeting of the Society for Neuroscience, San Diego, CA [Abstract][PDF]

Schiller D, Levy I, Niv Y, Ledoux JE, Phelps EA (2007) Amygdala, striatum and prefrontal cortex mediate flexible fear responses. Motivational Neuronal Network Conference, Porquerolles, France

Freeman J, Mitchell JP, Uleman JS, Phelps EA, Schiller D (2007) The neural correlates of first impressions. Neural Systems of Social Behavior, Austin, Texas [Abstract]

Schiller D, Niv Y, Levy I, Ledoux JE, Phelps EA (2007) Lateral and medial prefrontal cortex mediate reversal of fear learning in humans. Linking Affect to Action: Critical Contributions of the Orbitofrontal Cortex. The New York Academy of Science, New York, NY

Schiller D, Niv Y, Levy I, Ledoux JE, Phelps EA (2007) Fear learning and unlearning in the human brain. OIST Workshop on Cognitive Neurobiology, Japan

Schiller D, Ledoux JE, Phelps EA (2006) Reversal of fear learning in the human brain. Annual Meeting of the Society for Neuroscience, Atlanta, Georgia [Poster]

Schiller D, Cain CK, Kuhlman K, Ledoux JE, Phelps EA (2006) Learning by doing – Actions reinforced by fear termination. Annual Meeting of the Society for Neuroeconomics, Canyons Resort, Park City, Utah [Abstract]

Schiller D, Ledoux JE, Phelps EA (2006) Context mediated recovery of extinguished fear in humans. Annual Meeting of the Cognitive Neuroscience Society, San Francisco, CA [Abstract] [Poster]

Apergis-Schoute AM, Schiller D, Ledoux JE, Phelps EA (2006) Functional lateralization of the auditory fear learning circuitry in humans. Annual Meeting of the Society for Neuroscience, Atlanta, Georgia

Schiller D, Gal G, Weiner I (2005) The role of limbic-ventral striatal circuitry in responding to stimuli with conflicting meanings. Annual Meeting of the Society for Neuroscience, Washington, DC [Poster]

Apergis-Schoute AM, Schiller D, Litman L, Nearing K, Ledoux JE, Phelps EA (2005) The neural circuits of acquisition and extinction of auditory fear conditioning in humans. Annual Meeting of the Society for Neuroscience, Washington, DC

Schiller D, Zuckerman L, Joel D, Weiner I (2003) the neural circuitry of persistent latent inhibition as a model of negative symptoms in schizophrenia. Biological Psychiatry 53:20S [Abstract]

Schiller D, Zuckerman L, Weiner I (2003) the neural circuitry of persistent latent inhibition as a model of negative symptoms in schizophrenia. European Neuropsychopharmacology 13:S279-S280 [Abstract]

Schiller D and Weiner I (2002) The role of orbitofrontal cortex and basolateral amygdala in latent inhibition – A possible model of negative symptoms in schizophrenia. Neural Plasticity 9:111

Selected Press:
News on memory reconsolidation: The New York Times
Scientific American
New York Times Sunday Magazine
Psychology Today
Nature news
Science news
BBC news
The Guardian
NIH news

News on first impressions:
The Guardian
ScienceDaily
PsychCentral
UPI
ScienceBlog
WebMD
Ten psychology studies from 2009 worth knowing about

Other media:
The New York Academy of Science 2010 Blavatnik Award
Interview in Discover magazine, November 2009

Student Mentoring:
Okinawa Computational Neuroscience Course 2007, Japan
Student projects - Behavioral Experiments and Modeling Group [PDF]

Psychology Department, New York University Keith Doelling – The 2009 Summer Undergraduate Research Program: Dual-modality examination of fear conditioning, extinction and recovery.
Candace Marie Raio – MA Thesis (2008): Altering fear memories: Reactivation, Extinction and Erasure
*poster won 1st place in the NYU MA research conference[PDF]

Jennifer Schwartz – CSTEP Statewide Student Conference (2007): Humans are not rats - recovery of fear following immediate extinction
*poster won 1st place in the Social Sciences category [PDF]

Kaitlyn Huegel – Psychology Undergraduate Honors Program (2007): Why do we burn our ex’s things? The transference of the emotional value associated with a significant other to neutral inanimate objects
*poster won 1st place in the NYU undergraduate research conference [PDF]

Jon Freeman – Columbia University Spring Undergraduate Research Symposium (CUSJ 2007): Likes me, likes me not: amygdala activity predicts first impressions (link)

Nina G. Curley – Annual Meeting of the Society for Neuroscience (2007), San Diego, CA:Evidence for the recovery of fear following immediate extinction in rats and humans [PDF]

Kate Kuhlman – Research And Experimental Methods Course (2007): Escape from fear learning in humans

Teaching:
2004 Psychology Department, Derby College
Physiology of Behavior
Research Methods and Statistics
Science and Technology

2001-2003 Psychology Department, Tel Aviv University
Introduction to Psychology
Research Methods

2000-2001 The Music Academy, Lewinsky College
Music and the Brain

2000 Psychology Department, The Open University
Physiology of Behavior

Other Projects:
Lobel TE, Sakamoto A, Sagara J, Saka N, Schiller D (Under review) Gender-related inferences and judgments of children and adolescents: A cross-cultural analysis

Lobel TE, Nov-Krispin N, Schiller D, Lobel O, Feldman A (2004) Gender discriminatory behavior during adolescence and young adulthood: A developmental analysis. Journal of Youth and Adolescence 33:535-546 [PDF]

Other Activities:
Music with The Amygdaloids [http://www.amygdaloids.com/]

Story Telling at the Moth