Show The Graduate Center Menu
 
 

David Johnson
Position: Assistant Professor
Campus Affiliation: York College
Phone: (718) 262-2618
Degrees/Diplomas: Ph.D., Weill Cornell Medical College
Research Interests: Learning, memory, and emotion
My research focuses on the learning and memory processes by which humans accomplish the important goal of anticipating and avoiding danger. In my lab, we use classical fear conditioning as a model paradigm to study these processes on behavioral, genetic and psychophysiological levels of analysis. One line of research explores ways in which fear memories can be altered during memory reconsolidation. Another line of research examines how shared social group membership can impact learning that occurs by observing the experiences of other individuals. A primary goal of this research is to understand the role that emotional learning processes and associated neural mechanisms play in the development of fear-related disorders such as PTSD and phobia, with the hope that the findings will inform better diagnosis and more effective clinical treatments of these disorders.

Articles in Field Of Expertise:
Divencha, I., Drysdale, A. Hartley, C.A., Johnson, D.C.*, Glatt, C., Lee, F.S., & Casey, B.J.. "FAAH genetic variation enhances fronto-amygdala function in mouse and human.." Nature Communications. 6 2015: 6395.

Johnson, D.C. & Casey, B.J.. "Extinction during memory reconsolidation blocks recovery of fear in adolescents.." Scientific Reports. 5 2015: 8863.

Johnson, D.C. & Casey, B.J.. "Easy to remember, difficult to forget: the development of fear regulation." Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience 11. 11 2015: 42-55.

Pattwell, S., Duhoux, S., Hartley, C., Johnson, D.C., Jing, D., Elliott, M., Ruberry, E., Powers, A., Mehta, N., Yang, R., Soliman, F., Glatt, C., Casey, B.J., Ninan, I., & Lee, F.S.. "Altered fear learning across development in both mouse and human.." PNAS. 109 2012: 16318–16323.

Schiller, D., Monfils, M.H., Raio, C.M., Johnson, D.C., LeDoux, J.E., & Phelps, E.A.,. "Preventing the return of fear in humans using reconsolidation update mechanisms.." Nature. 463 2010: 49-53.

Presented Papers, Lectures, and Exhibitions and Performances:
" Disrupting fear: testing the limits of reconsolidation update " 2018: Association for Psychological Science, San Fransisco.

" Disrupting fear: testing the limits of reconsolidation update " 2018: Midwestern Psychological Association, Chicago.

" The impact of shared political affiliation on observational fear learning. " 2018: Midwestern Psychological Association, Chicago.

" The effect of sustained negative arousal on fear extinction learning " 2017: Midwestern Psychological Association, Chicago.

" The effect of threat reinforcement rate on fear acquisition and regulation " 2017: Midwestern Psychological Association, Chicago.

" The effect of color paper on memory " 2017: Midwestern Psychological Association, Chicago.

" The effect of situational stress on fear extinction learning " 2017: Butler University Undergraduate Research Conference, Indianapolis, IN.

" Threat reinforcement rate mediates fear acquisition and regulation " 2017: Butler University Undergraduate Research Conference, Indianapolis, IN.

" Political Affiliation as predictor of response to uncanny valley stimuli " 2017: Butler University Undergraduate Research Conference, Indianapolis, IN.

" Threat reinforcement rate mediates fear acquisition and regulation " 2017: Manchester Undergraduate Research Conference, North Manchester, IN.

" The effect of situational stress on fear extinction learning " 2017: Manchester Undergraduate Research Conference, North Manchester, IN.

" Threat reinforcement rate mediates fear acquisition and regulation " 2017: Association of Psychological Science, Boston, MA.

" Challenging the validity of sideline concussion tests " 2016: Midwest Psychological Society, Chicago, Il.

" Variation in Endocannabinoid Signaing Modulates Frontoamygdala Connectivity, Fear Regulation, and Anxiety in Mice and Humans " 2015: Society of Biological Psychiatry, New York City.

" Reconsolidation update: a method for preventing the return of fear in adolescents " 2014: American Psychological Society, San Francisco, CA..

" Retrieval prior to extinction prevents the return of fear. " 2008: International Symposium on Attention and Performance XXII, Stowe, VT.

" Behavioral blockade of the return of fear in humans " 2008: Society for Neuroscience Annual Meeting, Washington, D.C.

" Extinction training during memory reconsolidation prevents the return of fear in humans " 2008: Pavlovian Society Annual Meeting, Weehawken, NJ..

" The (near) future is bright: how emotion modulates simulation of everyday future events. " 2008: Cognitive Neuroscience Society, San Fransisco, CA.

Grants-In-Aid
GRTI Equipment Funding Grant (Round 21), Exploring gender biases in social fear learning. Awaiting Decision: $26,000.

PSC-CUNY Research Award Program (Round 50), The effect of sustained negative arousal on fear extinction learning. Awaiting Decision: $6000.

National Institutes of Health (NIMH), Disrupting fear: reconsolidation, cue specificity and memory strength. 2018-2021: $305,000.