Schiller Laboratory

of Affective Neuroscience

Can we change our emotions?

how emotions are formed in the human brain

Research

danielaCan we change our emotions? Our lab is interested in discovering the neural mechanisms underlying emotional control and flexibility. Because the environment we live in is constantly changing, we need to continuously update our emotional responses. In extreme situations, when emotional memories become traumatic, we might even wish to ‘erase’ emotional memories altogether. Our research team uses neuroimaging, pharmacology and psychophysiology to understand the neural mechanisms that make such emotional flexibility. We examine emotional processing in the normal brain and in patients with anxiety disorders, and hope to promote new forms of treatment.

Contact Us

Schiller Laboratory
Daniela Schiller, PhD
Professor, Neuroscience
Professor, Psychiatry
Location
Lab: HESS CSM 9-111
Phone
Office: 212.824.8977
Email

Publications

2017

Homan, P., Lin, Q., Murrough, J. W., Soleimani, L., Bach, D. R., Clem, R. L., & Schiller, D. (2017). Prazosin during threat discrimination boosts memory of the safe stimulus. Learning & Memory24(11), 597-601.


Homan, P., Ely, B. A., Yuan, M., Brosch, T., Ng, J., Trope, Y., & Schiller, D. (2017). Aversive smell associations shape social judgment. Neurobiology of Learning and Memory144, 86-95.


Homan, P., Reddan, M. C., Brosch, T., Koenigsberg, H. W., & Schiller, D. (2017). Aberrant link between empathy and social attribution style in borderline personality disorder. Journal of psychiatric research94, 163-171.


Lee, J. L., Nader, K., & Schiller, D. (2017). An Update on Memory Reconsolidation Updating. Trends in Cognitive Sciences.

           *Featured on journal cover


Montagrin, A., Saiote, C., & Schiller, D. (2017). The social hippocampus. Hippocampus.

2016

Clem, R. L., & Schiller, D. (2016). New Learning and Unlearning: Strangers or Accomplices in Threat Memory Attenuation? Trends in neurosciences, 39(5), 340-351.


Delgado, M. R., Beer, J. S., Fellows, L. K., Huettel, S. A., Platt, M. L., Quirk, G. J., & Schiller, D. (2016). Viewpoints: dialogues on the functional role of the ventromedial prefrontal cortex. Nature neuroscience19(12), 1545-1552.


Homan, P., and Schiller, D. (2016). Neuroscience: This is not a spider. Current Biology 26, R882-R902.


Schiller, D. (2016). Hacking the brain to overcome fear. Nature Human Behavior 1:0010.


Schiller, D. (2016). Running to Forget. Int J Neuropsychopharmacology 19, 1-2.

2015

Schiller, D., Eichenbaum, H., Buffalo, E. A., Davachi, L., Foster, D. J., Leutgeb, S., & Ranganath, C. (2015). Memory and space: towards an understanding of the cognitive map. The Journal of Neuroscience, 35(41), 13904-13911.

          *Featured on journal cover


Kroes, M. C., Schiller, D., LeDoux, J. E., & Phelps, E. A. (2015). Translational Approaches Targeting Reconsolidation.


Zhang, Z., Mendelsohn, A., Manson, K. F., Schiller, D., & Levy, I. (2015). Dissociating value representation and inhibition of inappropriate affective response during reversal learning in the ventromedial prefrontal cortex. eneuro, 2(6), ENEURO-0072.


Hildebrandt T, Grotzinger A, Reddan M, Greif R, Levy I, Goodman W, and Schiller D (2015) Testing the disgust conditioning theory of food-avoidance in adolescents with recent onset anorexia nervosa. Behaviour Research and Therapy 71, 131-138


Bentz, D., & Schiller, D. (2015). Threat processing: models and mechanisms. Wiley interdisciplinary reviews: cognitive science6(5), 427-439.


Tavares R, William C, Grossman Y, Mendelsohn A, Shapiro M, Trope Y, and Schiller D (2015) A map for social navigation in the human brain. Neuron 87, 231-243

          *Commentary by Howard Eichenbaum, The hippocampus as a cognitive map…of social space. Neuron 87, 9-11


Schiller, D. (2015). Behavioral Genetics: Of Mice, Men, and Internal Bliss. Current Biology 25, R455-R457.

2014

Mendelsohn, A., Pine, A., & Schiller, D. (2014). Between thoughts and actions: motivationally salient cues invigorate mental action in the human brain. Neuron81(1), 207-217.

          *Faculty 1000 recommendation


Collins, K. A., Mendelsohn, A., Cain, C. K., & Schiller, D. (2014). Taking action in the face of threat: neural synchronization predicts adaptive coping. Journal of Neuroscience34(44), 14733-14738.


Zhang, Z., Manson, K. F., Schiller, D., & Levy, I. (2014). Impaired associative learning with food rewards in obese women. Current Biology24(15), 1731-1736.

          *Commentary in Current Biology by Davidson TL and Martin AA, Obesity: Cognitive impairment and the failure to ‘eat right’ the failure to “eat right”.

          *Included in Nature Reviews Neuroscience Research Highlights, August 2014

          *Faculty 1000 recommendation


Apergis-Schoute, A. M., Schiller, D., LeDoux, J. E., & Phelps, E. A. (2014). Extinction resistant changes in the human auditory association cortex following threat learning. Neurobiology of learning and memory113, 109-114.


Mungee, A., Kazzer, P., Feeser, M., Nitsche, M. A., Schiller, D., & Bajbouj, M. (2014). Transcranial direct current stimulation of the prefrontal cortex: a means to modulate fear memories. Neuroreport25(7), 480-484.


Schiller, D. (2014). A Lighter Shade of Trauma. Biological Psychiatry 76, 838-839.

2013

Schiller, D., Kanen, J. W., LeDoux, J. E., Monfils, M. H., & Phelps, E. A. (2013). Extinction during reconsolidation of threat memory diminishes prefrontal cortex involvement. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences110(50), 20040-20045.


Brosch, T., Schiller, D., Mojdehbakhsh, R., Uleman, J. S., & Phelps, E. A. (2013). Neural mechanisms underlying the integration of situational information into attribution outcomes. Social cognitive and affective neuroscience8(6), 640-646.


Collins, K. A., & Schiller, D. (2013). What can fear and reward learning teach us about depression?. In Behavioral Neurobiology of Depression and Its Treatment (pp. 223-242). Springer Berlin Heidelberg.


Phelps, A.E. and Schiller, D. (2013) Reconsolidation in humans. Memory Reconsolidation. Alberini CM, ed. Academic Press.

2012 - 2007

Schiller, D., Raio, C. M., & Phelps, E. A. (2012). Extinction training during the reconsolidation window prevents recovery of fear. Journal of visualized experiments: JoVE, (66).


Murrough, J.W., Schiller, D., and Charney, D.S. (2012). Neurocircuitry of anxiety disorders: Focus on panic disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder. Drug Discovery for Psychiatric Disorders. RSC Drug Discovery Series No. 28; Rankovic C, Bingham M, Nestler EJ, Hargreaves R, eds. The Royal Society Of Chemistry.


Schiller, D., & Phelps, E. A. (2011). Does reconsolidation occur in humans?Frontiers in behavioral neuroscience5.


Li, J., Schiller, D., Schoenbaum, G., Phelps, E. A., & Daw, N. D. (2011). Differential roles of human striatum and amygdala in associative learning. Nature neuroscience14(10), 1250-1252.


Schiller, D. (2011). Affective Neuroscience: Tracing the Trace of Fear. Current Biology 21, R695-R696


Schiller, D., & Delgado, M. R. (2010). Overlapping neural systems mediating extinction, reversal and regulation of fear. Trends in cognitive sciences14(6), 268-276.


Schiller, D., Monfils, M. H., Raio, C. M., Johnson, D. C., LeDoux, J. E., & Phelps, E. A. (2010). Preventing the return of fear in humans using reconsolidation update mechanisms. Nature463(7277), 49.

          *Commentary in Nature News & Views: Quirk GJ and Milad MR, Neuroscience:  Editing out fear

          *Selected by Nature NeuroPod as one of the most important studies of the year

          *Faculty 1000 ‘exceptional’ recommendation


Quirk, G. J., Paré, D., Richardson, R., Herry, C., Monfils, M. H., Schiller, D., & Vicentic, A. (2010). Erasing fear memories with extinction training. Journal of Neuroscience30(45), 14993-14997.


Freeman, J. B., Schiller, D., Rule, N. O., & Ambady, N. (2010). The neural origins of superficial and individuated judgments about ingroup and outgroup membersHuman brain mapping31(1), 150-159.


Schiller, D., Freeman, J. B., Mitchell, J. P., Uleman, J. S., & Phelps, E. A. (2009). A neural mechanism of first impressions. Nature neuroscience12(4), 508-514.


LeDoux, J.E., Schiller, D., and Cain, C.K. (2009). Emotional Reaction And Action: From Threat Processing To Goal Directed Behavior. The Cognitive Neurosciences, 4th Edition. Gazzaniga, MS. ed. MIT Press


Schiller, D., Levy, I., Niv, Y., LeDoux, J. E., & Phelps, E. A. (2008). From fear to safety and back: reversal of fear in the human brain. Journal of Neuroscience28(45), 11517-11525.


Schiller, D., Cain, C. K., Curley, N. G., Schwartz, J. S., Stern, S. A., LeDoux, J. E., & Phelps, E. A. (2008). Evidence for recovery of fear following immediate extinction in rats and humans. Learning & Memory15(6), 394-402.


Schiller, D. and Phelps, E.A. (2008). The Neuroscience Of Emotional Learning. Oxford Companion to Affective Sciences. Sander, D & Scherer, KR. Eds. Oxford University Press.


LeDoux, J.E. and Schiller, D. (2008). What Animal Fear Models Have Taught Us About Human Amygdala Function? The Human Amygdala. Whalen, PJ & Phelps, EA. eds. New York: Guilford.

2006 & Older

Schiller, D., Zuckerman, L., & Weiner, I. (2006). Abnormally persistent latent inhibition induced by lesions to the nucleus accumbens core, basolateral amygdala and orbitofrontal cortex is reversed by clozapine but not by haloperidol. Journal of psychiatric research40(2), 167-177.

Schiller, D., & Weiner, I. (2005). Basolateral amygdala lesions in the rat produce an abnormally persistent latent inhibition with weak preexposure but not with context shift. Behavioural brain research163(1), 115-121.

Gal, G., Schiller, D., & Weiner, I. (2005). Latent inhibition is disrupted by nucleus accumbens shell lesion but is abnormally persistent following entire nucleus accumbens lesion: the neural site controlling the expression and disruption of the stimulus preexposure effect. Behavioural brain research162(2), 246-255.

Joel, D., Doljansky, J., & Schiller, D. (2005). ‘Compulsive’lever pressing in rats is enhanced following lesions to the orbital cortex, but not to the basolateral nucleus of the amygdala or to the dorsal medial prefrontal cortex. European Journal of Neuroscience21(8), 2252-2262.

Lobel, T. E., Nov-Krispin, N., Schiller, D., Lobel, O., & Feldman, A. (2004). Gender discriminatory behavior during adolescence and young adulthood: A developmental analysis. Journal of youth and adolescence33(6), 535-546.

Schiller, D., & Weiner, I. (2004). Lesions to the basolateral amygdala and the orbitofrontal cortex but not to the medial prefrontal cortex produce an abnormally persistent latent inhibition in rats. Neuroscience128(1), 15-25.

Weiner, I., Schiller, D., Gaisler-Salomon, I., Green, A., & Joel, D. (2003). A comparison of drug effects in latent inhibition and the forced swim test differentiates between the typical antipsychotic haloperidol, the atypical antipsychotics clozapine and olanzapine, and the antidepressants imipramine and paroxetine. Behavioural pharmacology14(3), 215-222.

Weiner, I., Schiller, D., & Gaisler-Salomon, I. (2003). Disruption and potentiation of latent inhibition by risperidone: the latent inhibition model of atypical antipsychotic action. Neuropsychopharmacology28(3), 499.

Shadach, E., Gaisler, I., Schiller, D., & Weiner, I. (2000). The latent inhibition model dissociates between clozapine, haloperidol, and ritanserin. Neuropsychopharmacology23(2), 151-161.

Weiner, I., Gaisler, I., Schiller, D., Green, A., Zuckerman, L., & Joel, D. (2000). Screening of antipsychotic drugs in animal models. Drug Development Research50(3‐4), 235-249.

Meet the Team

Alison Montagrin, PhD

Alison Montagrin, PhD

Postdoctoral Research Fellow

Alison.Montagrin@mssm.edu
Nadia Rahman

Nadia Rahman

MS Candidate

Nadia.Rahman@icahn.mssm.edu
Felipe Corchs, MD, PhD

Felipe Corchs, MD, PhD

Visiting Research Scholar

Felipe.Corchs@usp.br
Ariel De Leon

Ariel De Leon

MS Candidate

Ariel.Deleon@icahn.mssm.edu

Denise Croote

Denise Croote

PhD Candidate

Denise.Croote@icahn.mssm.edu
MacKenzie Boatman

MacKenzie Boatman

High school research intern

Mboatman0809@students.ossiningufsd.org
Temidayo Orederu

Temidayo Orederu

MD/PhD Candidate

Temidayo.Orederu@icahn.mssm.edu

Alumni

Philipp Homan, MD, PhD

Philipp Homan, MD, PhD

Postdoctoral Research Fellow

Current: Assistant Professor, Feinstein Institute for Medical Research
Catarina Saiote, PhD

Catarina Saiote, PhD

Postdoctoral Research Fellow

Current: Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Minnesota
Rita Tavares, PhD

Rita Tavares, PhD

Postdoctoral Research Fellow

Avi Mendelsohn, PhD

Avi Mendelsohn, PhD

Postdoctoral Research Fellow

Current: Assistant Professor, Haifa University
Dorothee Bentz, PhD

Dorothee Bentz, PhD

Postdoctoral Research Fellow

Current: Senior Scientist, Basel University
Kate Collins, PhD

Kate Collins, PhD

PhD Student

Current: Postdoctoral Fellow, ISMMS
Jingchu Hu

Jingchu Hu

Visiting PhD student

Current: Postdoctoral Fellow, SCNU, China
Eric Nelson

Eric Nelson

MA candidate (NYU)

Benjamin Ely

Benjamin Ely

PhD Rotation Student

Jennifer Nam

Jennifer Nam

PhD Rotation Student

Yael Grossman

Yael Grossman

PhD Rotation Student

Qi Lin

Qi Lin

Lab Manager

Current: PhD Candidate, Yale University

Marianne Reddan

Marianne Reddan

Lab Manager

Current: PhD Candidate, University of Colorado 

Lee Lau

Lee Lau

Research Assistant

Current: MD Candidate, University of Miami
Christian Williams

Christian Williams

Research Assistant

Chris Thompson

Chris Thompson

Research Assistant

Reid Shea

Reid Shea

Research Assistant

Kelly Fogelson

Kelly Fogelson

SURP Student

Caroline Overacker

Caroline Overacker

High school research intern

Scott Berger

Scott Berger

High school research intern

Abigail Orlando

Abigail Orlando

High school research intern

Current: BA at Harvard University

May Yuan

May Yuan

High school research intern

Current: PhD candidate, Teachers College, Columbia University

Media

The Moth Radio Hour. Forgetting Fear. By studying memory, Daniela connects with her father, who refuses to speak about his memories of the holocaust.

schiller partial recall
The New Yorker (May 19, 2014) “Partial Recall” by Michael Specter

EmTech: Neuroengineering – The Future is Now: Daniela Schiller, Associate Professor, Mount Sinai Hospital on groundbreaking research on memory , and whether we might enable us to block highly traumatic memories.

TedYouthTEDYouth: “The act of remembering is a new experience in itself. Each time we retrieve a memory and re-store it, it’s a little bit different—what we remember is not the original event, it’s our latest version of it.”

Daniela Schiller joins a group of passionate speakers who inspire creativity, share mind-shifting stories, and engage the TED Youth audience in ways that every student deserves (Nov. 19).

NYT

New York Times: “A new study suggests that doctors can take advantage of the brain’s natural updating process—the way it might soften its impression of, say, pit bulls after seeing a playful one—to treat phobias, post-traumatic stress and other anxiety disorders.”

Hippocampus makes ‘social’ maps” by Laura Sanders, Science News (April 30, 2016). Brain structure known tracking physical locations also monitors other relationships.

How to erase bad memories by R. Douglas Fields, Scientific American (Nov 25, 2013).

The Royal Society Summer Science ExhibitionThe Royal Society: “Does emotion serve a particular function? How important is emotion in artistic expression? How do we study emotion in science and the arts?”

Daniela Schiller joins Ray Dolan, Professor of Neuropsychiatry at UCL, on a panel of experts representing the literary world and the visual arts to discuss these and other fascinating questions.

NYAM logoDNAinfo.com: Our research was awarded the Blavatnik award of the New York Academy of Sciences. 
Nature NeuropodNature: NeuroPod is the neuroscience podcast from Nature, produced in association with the Dana Foundation. NeuroPod included us in the most important studies of the year 2009.

Memory Hackers, NOVA (February 10, 2016). Memory is the glue that binds our mental lives. Without it, we’d be prisoners of the present, unable to use the lessons of the past to change our future. From our first kiss to where we put our keys, memory represents who we are and how we learn and navigate the world. But how does it work? 

Studio 360 Live: Stories on memory.
Neuroscientist Daniela Schiller’s father rebuffed her attempts to talk about his experiences of the Holocaust. It wasn’t until years later that she came to understand him better.

Balloon GuardianGuardian.co.uk: “Research suggests a simple way to neutralise memories that evoke fear, but perhaps it is by learning to cope with life’s random tragedies that we develop as humans?”
Nature imageNature: Video on our non-invasive way to affect memory reconsolidation in humans.

The Amygdaloids are a New York City band made up of scientists who shed their scientific garb at night and take to the stage with songs about love and life peppered with insights drawn from research about mind and brain and mental disorders.

ripple project logo
The Ripple Project – “Reconsolidation” documentary
A daughter discovers synchronicity between her scientific career and her father’s method of coping with his traumatic past. Reconsolidation begins with a clinical look into a neurological experiment as neuroscientist Dr. Daniela Schiller, labors to discover the key to rewriting fearful memories — reconsolidation

https://vimeo.com/94723267

MIT Tech Review Bad MemoriesMIT Technology Review: Repairing Bad Memories by Stephen S Hall.
The Science Network Dr. Daniela SchillerTSN – The Science Network: Daniela Schiller talks to Roger Bingham about how she got into science and reviews research, including her own, on modifying fear memories. ted_youth.

Brain Guardian

Guardian.co.uk: “Ancient brain circuits light up so we can judge people on first impressions.”

Essays


Homan P and Schiller D (2016) Neuroscience: This is not a spider. Current Biology 26, R882-R902

A Lighter Shade of Trauma by Daniela Schiller in Biological Psychiatry.

Affective Neuroscience: Tracing the Trace of Fear. The trace of fear has been elusive and difficult to discern in the human brain. Researchers have come up with a clever new way to track it down. By Daniela Schiller in Current Biology.

Schiller, D. (2016). Hacking the brain to overcome fear. Nature Human Behavior 1:0010.

A Labtime Story By Daniela Schiller for Nature.com

How Free Is Your Will? A clock face, advanced neurosurgery—and startling philosophical questions about the decision to act. By Daniela Schiller and David Carmel in Scientific American.

Schiller, D. (2016). Running to Forget. Int J Neuropsychopharmacology 19, 1-2.

Snakes in the MRI Machine: A Study of Courage. What courage looks like in the brain—in real time. By Daniela Schiller in Scientific American

Yielding to Neural TemptationBy Daniela Schiller in Huffington Post Science.

Behavioral Genetics: Of Mice, Men, and Internal Bliss by Daniela Schiller in Current Biology

The Courage to Fear. Even if subdued, fear is always there, lurking. Waiting for the right moment to erupt and take over your will. What are the brain mechanisms underlying our fear memories, and can we change them? By Daniela Schiller in Huffington Post Science.

Lab News

Lab Awards

2017   Felipe Corchs – São Paulo Research Foundation Fellowship

2017   Denise Croote – 2nd place in the Brain Imaging Center’s 4th Annual Symposium Poster Competition

2017   Denise Croote – 1st  place at the Graduate School Data Blitz Competition

2017   Philipp Homan – 3rd place in Mt Sinai’s FBI Neuroscience Retreat Poster Competition

2016   Alison Montagrin – Swiss National Science Foundation early post-doctoral mobility program award

2015   Philipp Homan – Swiss National Science Foundation Fellowship for prospective researchers

2014   Daniela Schiller – Klingenstein-Simons Fellowship Award in the Neurosciences

2014   Daniela Schiller – The Harold and Golden Lamport Research Award

2014   Daniela Schiller – Kavli Scientist-Writer Fellow

2014   Caroline Overacker – Fisher Scientific Award for an outstanding behavioral project

2013   Daniela Schiller – Kavli Frontiers of Science Fellow, National Academy of Sciences

2013   Daniela Schiller – Le Foundation Award

2013   Dorothee Bentz – Swiss National Science Foundation Fellowship for prospective researchers

2013   Abigail Orlando – Intel ISEF 2013 1st place winner

2012   Marianne Reddan – Best Talk Award in Mt Sinai’s FBI Neuroscience Retreat

2012   Lee Lau – Best Poster Award in Mt Sinai’s TMII Retreat

2012   May Yuan – Best poster award SANS 2012

2010   Daniela Schiller – Blavatnik Award for Young Scientists, The New York Academy of Sciences

Lab Photos

Upcoming Events

Annual Meeting of the Society for Neuroscience, Washington DC: Neuroscience Engagement through Storytelling. Chair: Paula Croxson, Co-chair: Daniela Schiller. Speakers: Liz Neeley, Ed Yong, Jack Gallant, Erich Jarvis, and Daniela Schiller.