Donald A. Wilson, PhD

Professor, Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry

Professor, Department of Neuroscience and Physiology

Memory and perception, especially olfaction, Systems & Cognitive neuroscience, Neuropathology across the lifespan

My lab and I are interested in how the mammalian brain processes and remembers information. As a model system we focus on rat discrimination and memory for odors. Using electrophysiological, behavioral, neuroanatomical and pharmacological approaches, we explore the neurobiology of memory and the role of experience in sensory system function. The underlying hypothesis of much of our work is that memory plays a critical role in even basic sensory discrimination. In addition, we are interested in how experience and pathology across the life span can influence sensory system function and perception. For example, we are interested in how disruptions of even very simple neural mechanisms during early development can lead to a cascade of long-lasting consequences for brain and behavior, and how the deposition of amyloid proteins in the brain in an animal model of Alzheimer's disease shape sensory coding and perception. A TEDx talk summarizes aspects of our work is at




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These focus areas and their associated publications are derived from medical subject headings from PubMed.
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Professor, Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry

Professor, Department of Neuroscience and Physiology

PhD from McMaster University

Yuan, Aidong; Sershen, Henry; Basavarajappa, Balapal S; Smiley, John F; Hashim, Audrey; Bleiwas, Cynthia; Berg, Martin; Guifoyle, David N; Subbanna, Shivakumar; Darji, Sandipkumar; Kumar, Asok; Rao, Mala V; Wilson, Donald A; Julien, Jean-Pierre; Javitt, Daniel C; Nixon, Ralph A

Translational psychiatry. 2018 Aug 24; 8(1):167-167

Courtiol, Emmanuelle; Wilson, Donald A; Shah, Relish; Sullivan, Regina M; Teixeira, Catia M

eNeuro. 2018 Jul 31; 5(4):

Thalamic contribution to odor-guided behavior in rats [Meeting Abstract]

Courtiol, Emmanuelle; Wilson, Donald A.

Chemical senses. 2018 MAY; 43:E9-E9

East, Brett S; Fleming, Gloria; Peng, Kathy; Olofsson, Jonas K; Levy, Efrat; Mathews, Paul M; Wilson, Donald A

Neuroscience. 2018 Apr 18; 380:103-110

Perry, Rosemarie E; Finegood, Eric D; Braren, Stephen H; Dejoseph, Meriah L; Putrino, David F; Wilson, Donald A; Sullivan, Regina M; Raver, C Cybele; Blair, Clancy

Development & psychopathology. 2018 Apr 02; 1-20

Saito, Mariko; Smiley, John F; Hui, Maria; Masiello, Kurt; Betz, Judith; Ilina, Maria; Saito, Mitsuo; Wilson, Donald A

Cerebral cortex. 2018 Feb 16;

Olofsson, Jonas K; Wilson, Donald A

Current biology. CB. 2018 Feb 05; 28(3):R108-R110

Cohen, Yaniv; Wilson, Donald A

Scientific reports. 2018 Feb 2; 8(1):2587-2587