Chris Barkus

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Controversy revolves around the differential contribution of NR2A- and NR2B-containing NMDA receptors, which coexist in principal forebrain neurons, to synaptic plasticity and learning in the adult brain. Here, we report genetically modified mice in which the NR2B subunit is selectively ablated in principal neurons of the entire postnatal forebrain or only(More)
INTRODUCTION Auditory hallucinations exist in psychotic disorders as well as the general population. Proneness to hallucinations, as measured by positive schizotypy, predicts false perceptions during an auditory signal detection task (Barkus, Stirling, Hopkins, McKie, & Lewis, 2007). Our aim was to replicate this result and extend it by examining effects of(More)
The glutamate system has been strongly implicated in the pathophysiology of psychotic illnesses, including schizophrenia and schizoaffective disorder. We recently found that knockout (KO) mice lacking the AMPA GluA1 subunit displayed behavioral abnormalities relevant to some of the positive symptoms of these disorders. Here we phenotyped GluA1 KO mice for(More)
Glutamatergic dysfunction is strongly implicated in schizophrenia and mood disorders. GluA1 knockout (KO) mice display schizophrenia- and depression-related abnormalities. Here, we asked whether GluA1 KO show mania-related abnormalities. KO were tested for behavior in approach/avoid conflict tests, responses to repeated forced swim exposure, and locomotor(More)
Delirium is an acute, severe neuropsychiatric syndrome, characterized by cognitive deficits, that is highly prevalent in aging and dementia and is frequently precipitated by peripheral infections. Delirium is poorly understood and the lack of biologically relevant animal models has limited basic research. Here we hypothesized that synaptic loss and(More)
The 5-hydroxytryptamine (5-HT) transporter (5-HTT) is believed to play a key role in both normal and pathological psychological states. Much previous data suggest that the s allele of the polymorphic regulatory region of the 5-HTT gene promoter is associated with reduced 5-HTT expression and vulnerability to psychiatric disorders, including anxiety and(More)
Deletion of the GluA1 AMPA receptor subunit impairs short-term spatial recognition memory. It has been suggested that short-term recognition depends upon memory caused by the recent presentation of a stimulus that is independent of contextual-retrieval processes. The aim of the present set of experiments was to test whether the role of GluA1 extends to(More)
Spatial properties of stimuli are sometimes encoded even when incidental to the demands of a particular learning task. Incidental encoding of spatial information may interfere with learning by (i) causing a failure to generalize learning between trials in which a cue is presented in different spatial locations and (ii) adding common spatial features to(More)
Catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) modulates dopamine levels in the prefrontal cortex. The human gene contains a polymorphism (Val158Met) that alters enzyme activity and influences PFC function. It has also been linked with cognition and anxiety, but the findings are mixed. We therefore developed a novel mouse model of altered COMT activity. The human Met(More)
Group II metabotropic glutamate receptor agonists have been suggested as potential anti-psychotics, at least in part, based on the observation that the agonist LY354740 appeared to rescue the cognitive deficits caused by non-competitive N-methyl-d-aspartate receptor (NMDAR) antagonists, including spatial working memory deficits in rodents. Here, we tested(More)