Subject: Dr. Steve Maren, Claude H. Everett ’47 Jr. Chair of Liberal Arts, Professor of Psychological and Brain Sciences
Education: Ph.D. Biological Sciences (Neurobiology), University of Southern California, Los Angeles (1993); M.S. Biological Sciences (Neurobiology), University of Southern California, Los Angeles (1991); B.A. Psychology, cum laude with honors, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (1989).
Research Interests: The neural mechanisms underlying emotional learning and memory in animals, and the relevance of these mechanisms to clinical disorders of fear and anxiety, including post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in humans.
WHAT IS TEXAS A&M’S NEW BRAIN SCIENCE INITIATIVE?
In a nutshell, it’s a campus initiative built to explore the mysteries of the brain. We’re increasing research activities in neuroscience, both in animals and in humans. Modern neuroscience methods, including neuroimaging, allow us to peer into the brain and measure activity that is important for specific psychological functions, such as emotion or memory. The initiative has resulted in faculty hires in the Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences (formerly the psychology department). These new faculty members often work together in clusters around specific brain issues. For instance, those who study emotions might work collaboratively to research post-traumatic stress disorder, addiction, compulsive behaviors, etc. The research taking place in our department then plugs into complementary efforts of the larger neuroscience community on campus.
WHAT SETS TEXAS A&M APART IN BRAIN SCIENCE RESEARCH?
The Texas A&M Institute for Neuroscience is strongly collaborative among several of the major units on campus, including the veterinary school and the colleges of medicine, engineering, liberal arts and science. This means that we have very strong animal research and very strong human research sitting side-by-side, which makes us well-positioned to tackle issues of brain function across many levels of analysis.