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Faculty

colomboPaul Colombo, Ph.D.
Associate Professor

Ph.D., 1994, University of California, Berkeley
Curriculum Vitae

Email: pcolomb@tulane.edu
Phone: (504) 862-3359
Website: Neurobiology of Learning and Memory Laboratory

3062 Percival Stern Hall

Research Interests

There are three primary aims of research conducted in Dr. Colombo's laboratory. The first is to elucidate the neuronal mechanisms of memory formation with emphasis on the roles of signaling proteins, including kinases, phosphatases, and transcription factors. The second aim is test hypotheses regarding independence or interactions among multiple memory systems. The third aim is to apply results of studies of the neuronal mechanisms of memory formation to studies of age-related memory impairment under normal (e.g. non-pathological) aging conditions. Research on these three aims is conducted in parallel and combines behavioral analyses of learning and memory in rats with molecular-biological techniques to study the mechanisms of memory formation at both the cellular and the brain systems levels of analysis.

Selected Publications

Colombo, P.J. East, B.S. Jr., Crawley, M. E. & Hill, A.R. (2010) Aging and the Brain. In V.S. Ramachandran (Ed.) Encyclopedia of Human Behavior, 2nd Edition, London: Elsevier.

Smith, C.A., East, B.S., & Colombo, P.J. (2010) The orbitofrontal cortex is not necessary for acquisition or remote recall of socially transmitted food preferences Behavioural Brain Research, 208 243–249.

Brightwell, J.J., Smith, C.A., Neve, R.L., & Colombo, P.J. (2008) Transfection of mutant CREB in the striatum, but not the hippocampus, impairs lont-term memory for response learning. Neurobiology of Learning and Memory, 89 27-35.

Smith, C.A., Countryman, R.A, Sahuque, L.L., & Colombo, P.J. (2007). Timecourses of Fos expression in rat hippocampus and neocortex following acquisition and recall of a socially transmitted food preference. Neurobiology of Learning and Memory, 88, 65-74.

Brightwell-Petta, J., Smith, C.A., Neve, R.L., & Colombo, P.J. (2007) Long-term memory for place-learning is facilitated by expression of cAMP response element-binding protein in the dorsal hippocampus. Learning and Memory, 14, 195-199.

Arumugam, H., Liu, X., Colombo, P.J., Corriveau, R. A., & Belousov, A. B. (2005). NMDA receptors regulate developmental gap junction uncoupling via CREB signaling. Nature Neuroscience, 8(12), 1720-1726.

Countryman, R.A., Kaban, N.L. & Colombo, P.J. (2005). Hippocampal c-fos is necessary for long-term memory of a socially transmitted food preference. Neurobiology of Learning and Memory, 84, 175-183.

Brightwell, J.J, Smith, C.A., Countryman, R.A, Neve, R.L. & Colombo, P.J. (2005). Hippocampal overexpression of mutant CREB blocks long-term but not short-term memory for a socially transmitted food preference. Learning and Memory, 12, 12-17.

Countryman, R.A., Orlowski, J.D., Brightwell, J.J., Oskowitz, A.Z. & Colombo, P.J. (2005). CREB phosphorylation and c-Fos expression in the hippocampus of rats during acquisition and recall of a socially transmitted food preference. Hippocampus, 15:1, 56-67.

Brightwell, J. J., Gallagher, M., & Colombo , P.J. (2004). Hippocampal CREB1, but not CREB2, is decreased in aged rats with spatial memory impairments. Neurobiology of Learning and Memory, 81,19-26.

Colombo, P.J. (2004) Learning-induced activation of transcription factors among multiple memory systems. Neurobiology of Learning and Memory, 82, 268-277.

Colombo, P. J., & Gold, P.E. (2004). Multiple memory systems. Neurobiology of Learning and Memory, 82, 169-170.

Colombo , P. J., Brightwell, J. J., & Countryman, R. A. (2003). Cognitive strategy-specific increases in phosphorylated CREB and c-Fos in the hippocampus and dorsal striatum. Journal of Neuroscience, 23, 3547-3554.

Colombo , P. J., & Gallagher, M. (2002). Individual differences in spatial memory among aged rats are related to protein kinase Cg immunoreactivity in CA1 of hippocampus. Hippocampus, 12, 285-289.

Nicolle, M. J., Colombo , P. J., Gallagher, M., & McKinney , M. (1999). Metabotropic glutamate receptor-mediated phosphoinositide turnover is blunted in spatial learning-impaired aged rats. Journal of Neuroscience, 19, 9604-9610.

Dr. Colombo's Courses


  • Biological Psychology – PSYC 651/709
  • Neural Bases of Learning and Memory – PSYC 619
  • Brain and Behavior – PSYC 367

Department of Psychology • 2007 Percival Stern Hall • New Orleans, LA 70118 • Phone: 504-865-5331 • psych@tulane.edu