Neuroscientist receives $1.8M grant to study how brain suppresses fear

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Texas A&M University psychology professor and behavioral neuroscientist Steve Maren has been awarded a competitive renewal grant of $1.8 million by the National Institute of Mental Health to be allocated over a duration of another five years. Competitive renewal grants are reviewed every five years to decide if a project should develop further.

The grant is being used in the continuance of the ongoing 12-year research for behavioral techniques involved in the suppression of fear and anxiety. Maren’s project with this new grant, titled “Neural Substrates of Contextual Memory in Fear Extinction,” more specifically focuses on the relapse phase that can occur after issuing behavioral therapy.

“My project is interested in what brain systems, circuits, and connections are involved in telling you that everything is okay,” Maren said. “Because that’s instrumental to suppressing fear and moving beyond the trauma.”

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