The primary focus of research in our laboratory is on the neurobiological bases of memory. Evidence indicates that memory is not a unitary phenomenon, but instead is organized in multiple brain systems that differ in terms of the type of memory they mediate. Our research emphasizes identification of neural structures mediating different forms of memory, investigation of the neurochemical bases of multiple memory systems, and elucidation of the psychological operating principles that distinguish different types of memory. In particular, we have dissociated the role of the mammalian hippocampus and basal ganglia in cognitive and habit, memory processes, respectively, and investigated the role of dopaminergic, cholinergic, and glutamatergic neurotransmission in these forms of memory. Other findings from our laboratory suggest that a third brain structure, the amygdala, plays a general modulatory role in memory, such that activation of this structure influences both hippocampal-dependent and striatal-dependent memory storage processes. Additional research interests include examination of hormonal influences on cognition, and the interaction of sex steroids with brain reward systems. A long-range goal of our research is to understand the implications that a multiple systems hypothesis of memory organization has for several areas of psychological research.
- “Amygdala and Affective Modulation of Multiple Memory Systems” National Science Foundation
Goodman, J., Marsh, R., Peterson, B.S., Packard, M.G. (2014). The Neurobehavioral Development of Multiple Memory Systems: Implications for Childhood and Adolescent Psychiatric Disorders. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 55, 582-610.
Packard, M.G., Goodman, J. (2013). Factors That Influence the Relative Use of Multiple Memory Systems. Hippocampus, 11, 1044-1052.
White, N.M., Packard, M.G., McDonald, R.J. (2013). Dissociating Memory Systems: The Story Unfolds. Behavioral Neuroscience, 127, 813-834.
Packard, M. G. & Goodman, J. (2012). Emotional Arousal and Multiple Memory Systems in the Mammalian Brain. Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience, 6, 1-9.
Goodman, J., Leong, K. C., & Packard, M.G. (2012). Emotional Modulation of Multiple Memory Systems: Implications for the Neurobiology of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. Reviews in the Neurosciences, 9, 1-17.
Packard, M. G. (2010). Role of Basal Ganglia in Habit Learning and Memory: Rats, Monkeys, and Humans. Handbook of Basal Ganglia Structure and Function. Elsevier Publishers, 2010.