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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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Professor, Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry

Professor, Department of Neuroscience and Physiology

PhD from McMaster University

Opendak, Maya; Robinson-Drummer, Patrese; Blomkvist, Anna; Zanca, Roseanna M; Wood, Kira; Jacobs, Lily; Chan, Stephanie; Tan, Stephen; Woo, Joyce; Venkataraman, Gayatri; Kirschner, Emma; Lundström, Johan N; Wilson, Donald A; Serrano, Peter A; Sullivan, Regina M

Neuropsychopharmacology. 2019 Jun; 44(7):1247-1257

Smiley, John F; Bleiwas, Cynthia; Masiello, Kurt; Petkova, Eva; Betz, Judith; Hui, Maria; Wilson, Donald A; Saito, Mariko

Brain structure & function. 2019 Jun; 224(5):1871-1884

Olofsson, Jonas K; Zhou, Guangyu; East, Brett S; Zelano, Christina; Wilson, Donald A

eNeuro. 2019 Jul/Aug; 6(4):

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

Cerebral cortex. 2019 Apr 01; 29(4):1383-1397

Zhou, Guangyu; Lane, Gregory; Noto, Torben; Arabkheradmand, Ghazaleh; Gottfried, Jay A; Schuele, Stephan U; Rosenow, Joshua M; Olofsson, Jonas K; Wilson, Donald A; Zelano, Christina

Nature communications. 2019 Mar 11; 10(1):1168

Courtiol, Emmanuelle; Neiman, Michelle; Fleming, Gloria; Teixeira, Catia M; Wilson, Donald A

Brain structure & function. 2019 Mar; 224(2):961-971

Fleming, Gloria; Wright, Beverly A; Wilson, Donald A

Chemical senses. 2019 Jan 29; 44(2):135-143

Lewin, M; Sullivan, R M; Wilson, D A

Handbook of behavioral neuroscience. 2019; 30(pp):593-610