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Bianca Ambrogina Silva

SilvaResearch scientist
URT c/o Humanitas Research Hospital
Via Manzoni 56
20089 Rozzano
Tel +39 02 82245251
Fax +39 02 82245290
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On leave 2023-2025



Research summary

How do animals integrate new information to update previously encoded memories? What happens when this process is impaired?
The capacity to adapt to a dynamic environment is a fundamental ability for survival. For this, animals need to constantly integrate new information, update their representation of the world and adjust their behavior accordingly. A fundamental aspect of this process is the capacity to update previously encoded memories.
My lab combines whole-brain functional connectivity analysis with in vivo fiber photometry and closed-loop optogenetics to unravel how intense emotional memories can be attenuated.


A particular focus is put on the contribution of hub structures in the midline thalamus that orchestrate the activity of distributed memory circuits in an integrated manner. In addition, we study pathological alterations within these thalamo-centered circuits in mouse models of fear-related disorders such as post-traumatic stress disorder. Using a similar array of cutting-edge techniques, we aim at identifying novel strategies to revert these circuit alterations and open the path for novel therapeutical interventions.





Representative publications

Silva B.A., Astori S., Burns A.M., Santoni G., Heiser H, Sato N., Sandi C., Gräff J. A thalamo-amygdalar circuit underlying extinction of remote fear memory. Nature Neuroscience. Accepted.
Silva B.A., Burns A.M., Gräff J. A cFos activation map of remote fear memory attenuation. Psychopharmacology (Berl), 2019.
Silva B.A., Gross C.T. & Gräff J. The neural circuits of innate fear: detection, integration, action and memorization. Learning and Memory, 2016.
Silva B.A., Mattucci C., Krzywkowski P., Cuozzo R., Carbonari L. & Gross, C.T. The ventromedial hypothalamus mediates predator fear memory. European Journal of Neuroscience, 2016.
Silva B.A., Mattucci C., Krzywkowski P., Murana E., Illarionova A., Grinevich V., Canteras N.S., Ragozzino D. & Gross C.T. Independent hypothalamic circuits for social and predator fear. Nature Neuroscience, 2013.