The Diehl Lab

Welcome to the research laboratory of 

Dr. Maria M. Diehl

Why are some individuals resilient, and readily overcome trauma, while other individuals are vulnerable, and go on to develop a neuropsychiatric disease, such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)?

Excessive fear and avoidance caused by a traumatic experience prevents vulnerable individuals from overcoming their fears, and reduces the opportunities to learn that something is no longer dangerous, thereby exacerbating symptoms. Animal models have advanced our understanding of the neural circuits mediating the learning and memory of fear, and more recently, active avoidance.

Research in the Diehl laboratory uses single unit recordings and optogenetic approaches in rats to understand how adaptive behaviors such as active avoidance will affect an individual's ability to overcome future stressors. We are also interested in how social interactions affect fear and avoidance learning.