News from Conte Center @ UCI

New Conte Center Publication in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences

August 10, 2017

Memory function of children seem to be worse if maternal care patterns were unpredictable. In adolescent rats, receiving fragmented and unpredictable maternal care early in life directly worsened memory.

Using both observations of human children and direct manipulation of maternal care in rodents enabled Conte Center investigators led by Profs. Elysia Davis and Tallie Z. Baram to conclude that brain development is sensitive to patterns of maternal-derived signals. Specifically, unpredictable and fragmented patterns of maternal signals may not permit optimal development of brain machinery that underlies cognitive functions.

These findings are highly important in today’s world where maternal interactions with her child might be disrupted and fragmented by numerous distractions.

Impaired ability to experience pleasure (anhedonia) can be reversed in adults!

September 7, 2017

Impaired ability to experience pleasure (anhedonia) resulting from fragmented/unpredictable early-life experiences can be reversed in adults! A paper by postdoctoral researcher Jessica Bolton and the UCI Conte Center team in the prominent journal Biological Psychiatry shows

Megan Curran receives 2017 Graduate Student Award

July 24, 2017

Conte Center MD/PhD graduate student Megan Curran receives the 2017 Renée Harwick Advanced Graduate Student Award sponsored by the UCI Center for the Neurobiology of Learning and Memory. The Renée Harwick Advanced Graduate Student Award is funded by an endowed gift by Dr. Renée Harwick to recognize a graduate student who shows outstanding scientific promise and to support the completion of the student’s Ph.D. thesis.

2016 Neurobiology of Stress Workshop

July, 2016

The 2016 Neurobiology of Stress Workshop, sponsored in part by the Conte Center @ UCI, was held in sunny Southern California, had close to 200 participants and was a great success. The next workshop is bound for Banff/Calgary, Canada in June 2018. To learn more about the 2018 Workshop, contact co-organizers Matthew Hill or Jaideep Bains. To be added to the workshop distribution list, please send an email to

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