Arun Asok

Arun Asok

Doctor of Philosophy

About

39
Publications
5,793
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935
Citations

Publications

Publications (39)
Article
Full-text available
Optimal behavior requires interpreting environmental cues that indicate when to perform actions. Dopamine is important for learning about reward-predicting events, but its role in adapting to inhibitory cues is unclear. Here we show that when mice can earn rewards in the absence but not presence of an auditory cue, dopamine level in the ventral str...
Article
Full-text available
The hippocampus contains a diverse array of inhibitory interneurons that gate information flow through local cortico-hippocampal circuits to regulate memory storage. Although most studies of interneurons have focused on their role in fast synaptic inhibition mediated by GABA release, different classes of interneurons express unique sets of neuropep...
Preprint
Full-text available
Social preference, the decision to interact with one member of the same species over another, is a key feature of optimizing social interactions. In rodents, social preference relies on both extrinsic factors, such as sex, strain and kinship, and intrinsic ones, such as the memory of previous encounters, which favors interactions with novel compare...
Preprint
The ventral hippocampus (vHPC) is critical for both learned and innate fear, but how discrete projections control different types of fear is poorly understood. Here, we report a novel excitatory circuit from a subpopulation of the ventral hippocampus CA1 subfield (vCA1) to the inhibitory peri-paraventricular nucleus of the hypothalamus (pPVN) which...
Preprint
Full-text available
Biomolecular condensates, membraneless organelles found throughout the cell, play critical roles in many aspects of cellular function. Ribonucleoprotein granules (RNPs), a type of biomolecular condensate found in neurons that are necessary for local protein synthesis and are involved in long-term potentiation (LTP). Several RNA-binding proteins pre...
Article
Full-text available
The initial response to an addictive substance can facilitate repeated use: That is, individuals experiencing more positive effects are more likely to use that drug again. Increasing evidence suggests that psychoactive cannabinoid use in adolescence enhances the behavioral effects of cocaine. However, despite the behavioral data, there is no neurob...
Article
Full-text available
The generalization of fear is adaptive in that it allows an animal to respond appropriately to novel threats that are not identical to previous experiences. In contrast, the overgeneralization of fear is maladaptive and is a hallmark of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), a psychiatric illness that is characterized by chronic symptomatology and...
Article
Full-text available
The generalization of fear memories is an adaptive neurobiological process that promotes survival in complex and dynamic environments. When confronted with a potential threat, an animal must select an appropriate defensive response based on previous experiences that are not identical, weighing cues and contextual information that may predict safety...
Article
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Although the hippocampus is known to be important for declarative memory, it is less clear how hippocampal output regulates motivated behaviours, such as social aggression. Here we report that pyramidal neurons in the CA2 region of the hippocampus, which are important for social memory, promote social aggression in mice. This action depends on outp...
Article
The context preexposure facilitation effect (CPFE) is a variant of contextual fear conditioning in which learning about the context (preexposure) and associating the context with a shock (training) occur on separate occasions. The CPFE is sensitive to a range of neonatal alcohol doses (Murawski & Stanton, 2011). The current study examined the impac...
Article
Full-text available
Exposure to childhood adversity has been linked to accelerated telomere shortening, a marker of cellular aging and an indicator of physical health risk. In the current study, we examined whether adult attachment representation moderated the association between childhood adversity and telomere length. Participants included 78 young adults ( M age =...
Article
Over the past half-century, we have gained significant insights into the molecular biology of long-term memory storage at the level of the synapse. In recent years, our understanding of the cellular architecture supporting long-term memory traces has also substantially improved. However, the molecular biology of consolidation at the level of neuron...
Article
Attachment security moderates the link between adverse childhood experiences and cellular aging—ADDENDUM - Or Dagan, Arun Asok, Howard Steele, Miriam Steele, Kristin Bernard
Article
The lateral central nucleus of the amygdala (CeAL) and the dorsolateral bed nucleus of the stria terminalis (BNSTDL) coordinate the expression of shorter- and longer-lasting fears, respectively. Less is known about how these structures communicate with each other during fear acquisition. One pathway, from the CeAL to the BNSTDL, is thought to commu...
Article
DNA methylation (addition of methyl groups to cytosines which normally represses gene transcription) and changes in telomere length (TTAGGG repeats on the ends of chromosomes) are two molecular modifications that result from stress and could contribute to the long-term effects of intrauterine exposure to maternal stress on offspring behavior. Here,...
Article
The precise contribution of visual information to contextual fear learning and discrimination has remained elusive. To better understand this contribution, we coupled the context pre-exposure facilitation effect (CPFE) fear conditioning paradigm with presentations of distinct visual scenes displayed on 4 LCD screens surrounding a conditioning chamb...
Article
Full-text available
The precise contribution of visual information to contextual fear-learning and discrimination has remained elusive. To better understand this contribution, we coupled the context pre-exposure facilitation effect (CPFE) fear conditioning paradigm with presentations of distinct visual scenes displayed on 4 LCD screens surrounding a conditioning chamb...
Article
The present study investigated whether repeated early postnatal exposure to the predator odor 2,5-dihydro-2,4,5-trimethylthiazoline (TMT) alters behavioral responses to the stimulus later in life, at postnatal day (PN30). Long-Evans rat pups with their mothers were exposed for 20 min daily to TMT, water, or a noxious odor, butyric acid (BTA), durin...
Article
In the last several years, the importance of understanding what innate threat and fear is, in addition to learning of threat and fear, has become evident. Odors from predators are ecologically relevant stimuli used by prey animals as warnings for the presence of danger. Of importance, these odors are not necessarily noxious or painful, but they hav...
Article
Infant–caregiver experiences are major contributing factors to neural and behavioral development. Research indicates that epigenetic mechanisms provide a way in which infant–caregiver experiences affect gene activity and other downstream processes in the brain that influence behavioral development. Our laboratory previously demonstrated in a rodent...
Article
Early childhood is a sensitive period in which infant-caregiver experiences have profound effects on brain development and behavior. Clinical studies have demonstrated that infants who experience stress and adversity in the context of caregiving are at an increased risk for the development of psychiatric disorders. Animal models have helped to eluc...
Article
Full-text available
Following adverse childhood experiences, high quality maternal care can protect against accelerated telomere shortening in peripheral cells. It is less clear, however, how telomere length in the brain is influenced by early caregiving experiences. Using rats, we investigated if quality of care (i.e., aversive or nurturing care outside of the homeca...
Article
2,4,5 dihydro 2,5 trimethylthiazoline (TMT) is a synthesized component of red fox anal secretions that reliably elicits defensive behaviors in rats and mice. TMT differs from other predator odors because it is a single molecule, it can be synthesized in large quantities, and the dose for exposure is highly controllable in an experimental setting. T...
Article
The immediate early gene c-fos and a number of neuropeptides have been widely used to help delineate the neural circuitry of innate fear to predator odors. The present study used in situ hybridization techniques to examine the expression of the immediate early gene transcription factors c-fos and egr-1, and the neuropeptides corticotropin-releasing...
Article
Full-text available
Early-life stress, such as maltreatment, institutionalization, and exposure to violence, is associated with accelerated telomere shortening. Telomere shortening may thus represent a biomarker of early adversity. Previous studies have suggested that responsive parenting may protect children from the negative biological and behavioral consequences of...

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