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Donald A. Wilson

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. Using a rat model system, we focus on the discrimination and memory of odors. In addition, we employ electrophysiological, behavioral, neuroanatomical, and pharmacological approaches to 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 crucial role in basic sensory discrimination. We are also 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, “The Power of the Sense of Smell,” summarizes aspects of our work.





Academic office

One Park Avenue

Eighth Floor

New York, NY 10016

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These focus areas and their associated publications are derived from medical subject headings from PubMed.
represents one publication
*Due to PubMed processing times, the most recent publications may not be reflected in the timeline.
Coureaud, Gérard; Thomas-Danguin, Thierry; Sandoz, Jean-Christophe; Wilson, Donald A

Journal of experimental biology. 2022 Mar 15; 225(6):

Opendak, Maya; Raineki, Charlis; Perry, Rosemarie E; Rincón-Cortés, Millie; Song, Soomin C; Zanca, Roseanna M; Wood, Emma; Packard, Katherine; Hu, Shannon; Woo, Joyce; Martinez, Krissian; Vinod, K Yaragudri; Brown, Russell W; Deehan, Gerald A; Froemke, Robert C; Serrano, Peter A; Wilson, Donald A; Sullivan, Regina M

Neuron. 2021 Dec 15; 109(24):4018-4035.e7

East, Brett S; Fleming, Gloria; Vervoordt, Samantha; Shah, Prachi; Sullivan, Regina M; Wilson, Donald A

Scientific reports. 2021 Nov 05; 11(1):21746

Iravani, Behzad; Schaefer, Martin; Wilson, Donald A; Arshamian, Artin; Lundström, Johan N

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America (PNAS). 2021 Oct 19; 118(42):

Smiley, John F; Bleiwas, Cynthia; Canals-Baker, Stefanie; Williams, Sharifa Z; Sears, Robert; Teixeira, Catia M; Wilson, Donald A; Saito, Mariko

Alcohol. 2021 Aug 28; 97:1-11

Iravani, Behzad; Arshamian, Artin; Lundqvist, Mikael; Kay, Leslie M; Wilson, Donald A; Lundström, Johan N

Neuroimage. 2021 May 02; 237:118130

Wilson, Donald A; East, Brett S

Current biology. CB. 2021 Apr 26; 31(8):R374-R376