I am a behavioural neuroscientist, specifically studying memory reconsolidation, the process by which memories restabilise to persist in memory, following their destabilization at retrieval. My research utilises both behavioural testing on tasks testing specific psychological processes, and molecular analysis of protein expression in brain areas known to be necessary for these psychological processes. To date I have been studying the necessity of glutamatergic and adrenergic signalling in memory reconsolidation, not only to elucidate the mechanisms of memory persistence, but also to provide pharmacological targets for the disruption of memories. Disrupting memories may provide a novel form of treatment for psychiatric disorders based upon maladaptive memories, such as drug addiction, post-traumatic stress disorder, and even some forms of obesity, which can be conceptualized as a form of ‘comfort food addiction’. My current research focuses upon three, inter-related strands: (i) determining pharmacological targets for the disruption of the memories that underlie cue-induced relapse to drug-seeking for both cocaine and alcohol addiction; (ii) determining the molecular and cellular basis of habit memory reconsolidation, and (iii) investigating the molecular mechanisms that underlie memory destabilization following memory retrieval.
Milton AL, Merlo E, Ratano P, Gregory BL, Dumbreck JK, Everitt BJ (2013), “Double dissociation of the requirement for GluN2B- and GluN2A-containing NMDA receptors in the destabilization and restabilization of a reconsolidating memory.” J Neurosci 33(3):1109-15
Milton AL, Everitt BJ (2012), “The persistence of maladaptive memory: addiction, drug memories and anti-relapse treatments.” Neurosci Biobehav Rev 36(4):1119-39
Milton AL, Everitt BJ (2010), “The psychological and neurochemical mechanisms of drug memory reconsolidation: implications for the treatment of addiction.” Eur J Neurosci 31(12):2308-19