Carlos A. Bolaños-Guzmán
Associate Professor, Psychology and Neuroscience
Florida State University
Neurobiological Consequences of Early Life Experiences
My research interests focus on delineating how early life pharmacological, environmental, and genetic manipulations alter brain biochemistry to regulate functional outputs throughout the lifespan. We accomplish this by doing research along three separate, yet overlapping, topics: (1) determining how exposure to psychostimulants and antidepressants, (2) stress (i.e., physical versus emotional) and (3) genetic interventions during postnatal development disrupts the integrity of neural pathways regulating mood and motivation, leading to vulnerability or resilience to neural insults later in life. Here, I will describe the functional and biochemical consequences of exposure to Fluoxetine (Prozac) during the adolescent period, how exposure to emotional stress during adolescence induces a depression-like phenotype in adulthood, and the role the extracellular signal-regulated kinase-2 (ERK2) within the Ventral Tegmental Area (VTA) plays in mediating these responses.