Our laboratory is interested in gaining further knowledge of neural systems underlying affect, attention, learning, and memory. Our experimental investigation of these issues utilizes animal models of cognition and a range of neurobiological and behavioral techniques. Our current research has diverged into two lines of investigation. The first line of research is focused on the neural systems underlying spatial attention. Specifically, we are studying the role of the basal forebrain cholinergic system in modulation attention in two distinct behavioral settings, associative learning and spatial orienting. The second line of research is focused on the neural systems underlying the representation of affect. In pursuing this line of work, we are examining the contribution of the amygdala and associated cortical systems to the formation of preferences for neutral stimuli. Ultimately, a convergence of these lines of work will allow investigation of the way in which affect and attention modulate learning and memory.
Quinn LK, Nitz DA, Chiba AA (2010) Learning-dependent dynamics of beta-frequency oscillations in the basal forebrain or rats. European Journal of Neuroscience (epub ahead of print)
de Barbaro, K. A., Chiba, A. A, & Deak, G. O. (in press) Micro-Analysis of Infant Looking in a Naturalistic Social Setting: Insights from Biologically Based Models of Attention. Developmental Science
Baxter, M.B., and Chiba, A.A. (1999). Cognitive functions of the basal forebrain. Current Opinion in Neurobiology 9: 178-183.
Schoenbaum, G.M., Chiba, A.A., and Gallagher, M. (1998). Orbitofrontal cortex and basolateral amygdala encode expected outcomes during learning. Nature Neuroscience 1(2): 1-6.