RUB » Forschung » Forschungsverbünde » Forschergruppen

DFG Research Unit 1581

Project Profile P3


Extinction and renewal in behaviorally conditioned immunosuppression


Employing a conditioned taste aversion (CTA) paradigm in the rat with saccharin as a conditioned stimulus (CS) and the immunosuppressive drug cyclosporine A as an unconditioned stimulus (US) we established a behaviorally conditioned immunosuppression. It is a special form of classical conditioning.

With this established model we will analyze extinction, renewal and reconsolidation of behaviorally conditioned immunosuppression on the

1. behavioral level (CTA)

2. level of the CNS (neural activity upon CS re-exposure)

3. level of the peripheral immune responses



CNS (gustatory cortex and amygdala):

  • EEG-telemetry, cFOS-Expression, Zytokine-mRNA-Expression
  • Pharmacological blockade

Immunological analysis

  • T-cell proliferation, Zytokine production, Zytokine-mRNA-Expression


Cooperation within the Research Unit:

  • Project P2: Regarding the electrophysiology in the free behaving (learning) rat P2 uses intrahippocampal EEG telemetry where we concentrate on the gustatory cortex and amygdala
  • Project P4: Close cooperation regarding the theoretical background on the role of attention in the renewal process
  • Project P5 and P7: These two projects will use saliva samples in order to assess cortisol and a-amylase concentrations as markers of the hypothalamic-pituitry-adrenal axis and sympathetic activity; this neuroendocrine analysis will take place in our lab


Contact: Please contact Harald Engler or Manfred Schedlowski for further questions regarding P3.


  • SFB 1280 Extinction Learning - accepted! Read more: RUB news portal / DFG press release
  • SFB Extinction Learning evaluated successfully! Read more
  • Julian Packheiser receives treasure chest-support! Read more
  • Young Scientists enjoyed a Lab Day with our colleagues at the University of Marburg. Read more
  • Adriane Icenhour received the promotional price of the Faculty of Medicine! Read more
  • A day with Michelle Craske. Read more
  • Kid came to office: With a mobile nursery we support parents who need to take their children with them to the office in short term. Read more

 ♥ of the press

  • Cooperation with
    The online magazine presents in cooperation with FOR 1581 and SFB 636 extinction learning as one of the most exciting current research topics between mind and brain. Read more
  • E-Book on Extinction Learning
    To provide a most recent update on research on extinction learning, Denise Manahan-Vaughan, Onur Güntürkün and Oliver Wolf from the Ruhr-University came together to create an open-access Frontier Research Topic e-book.
    Don't forget...
    In everyday life we are continually confronted with situations where previously learned information is no longer valid – a phenomenon that psychologists refer to as “extinction learning”... forschung 04/2014
    German research 3/2015