Masao Ito Award for Best Poster for Lana Inoue
Lana Inoue has received the Masao Ito Award for Best Poster for the presentation of her poster "Can cerebellar-dependent motor responses modulate extinction of conditioned fear? (Inoue L, Batsikadze G, Ernst TM, Merz CJ, Timmann D)" at the 10th International Annual Meeting of the Society for Research on the Cerebellum and Ataxias (SRCA) on 16-17 May 2019 in Sheffield, UK. Ms. Inoue was able to assert herself as a young medical doctoral student in a field with top-class staff. Ms. Inoue is a fellow of the ELAN doctoral college (Essen training programme "Laboratory and Science" for junior doctors), which is sponsored by the Else Kröner Fresenius Foundation. She is preparing her doctoral thesis in Professor Timmann's group at the Clinic for Neurology. The project is part of the subproject A05 of the SFB1280 (Extinction learning).
Mrs. Inoue's project deals with the unlearning of previously learned fear reactions, i.e. their extinction. An impaired extinction probably plays an important role in the pathophysiology of anxiety disorders. Possible ways to improve extinction learning are therefore of general interest. Animal experiments have shown that non-specific fear reactions are learnt at the beginning of eyelid closure conditioning, a simple motor learning process, which are later replaced by specific motor reactions. There is first evidence in the literature that the cerebellar nuclei suppress the amygdala in this situation. The aim of Ms. Inoue's project is to investigate whether the extinction of conditioned fear can be modulated by simultaneous eyelid closure conditioning in humans.