Faculty Associates

Sydney Trask

Contact Information
Email: smtrask@purdue.edu
Office: PSYC 3164 Map
Phone: 765-496-0880
Fax: 765-496-1264
Homepage: Homepage
Assistant Professor, Department of Psychological Sciences

PubMed Listing
Google Scholar Listing

PDF icon View Vita


PhD University of Vermont Psychological Sciences 2017

Research Interests

I am interested in the ways the brain encodes, stores, retrieves, and updates memory. I am particularly interested in understanding memory for context, or the environment in which events take place. Successful encoding and retrieval of context allows us to select and guide our behavior in a way that encourages situationally appropriate responding. However, alterations in this type of learning and memory are common in symptomology that underlies several neuropsychiatric disorders, ranging from PTSD to age-related dementia. Understanding how memory for context is formed, retrieved, and altered at both the circuit and molecular level, will provide one crucial step forward to treatments aimed at reducing maladaptive behaviors stemming from contextually inappropriate responding.

Teaching Interests

Learning & Behavior, Learning Theory, Behavioral Neuroscience, Molecular Mechanisms of Memory


2022 - Purdue Institute for Integrative Neuroscience
2019 - National Institute of Mental Health

Selected Publications

Trask, S., Mogil, J. S., Helmstetter, F. J., Stucky, C. L., & Sadler, K. E. (2022). Contextual Control Of Conditioned Pain Tolerance And Endogenous Analgesic Systems. ELife, 11, E75283.

Trask, S., & Fournier, D. I. (2022). Examining A Role For The Retrosplenial Cortex In Age-related Memory Impairment. Neurobiology Of Learning And Memory, 189, 107601.

Trask, S., & Helmstetter, F. J. (in Press). Unique Roles For The Anterior And Posterior Retrosplenial Cortices In Encoding And Retrieval Of Memory For Context. Cerebral Cortex.

Trask, S. (2022). Rethinking Extinction-based Treatments For Specific Phobias. Biological Psychiatry, 91, E15-e16.

Trask, S., Ferrara, N. C., Grisales, K., & Helmstetter, F. J. (2021). Optogenetic Inhibition Of Either The Anterior Or Posterior Retrosplenial Cortex Disrupts Retrieval Of A Trace, But Not Delay, Fear Memory. Neurobiology Of Learning And Memory, 185, 107530. Denotes Graduate Advisee.

Ferrara, N. C., Trask, S., Avonts, B., Loh, M. K., Padival, M., & Rosenkranz, J. A. (2021). Developmental Shifts In Amygdala Activity During A High Social Drive State. The Journal Of Neuroscience, 41, 9308-9325.

Ferrara, N.C.*, Trask, S.*, Pullins, S.E., & Helmstetter, F.J. (2021) Inhibition Of The Thalamo-amygdala Pathway Facilitates Extinction Learning. Neurobiology Of Learning And Memory, 125, 107526. *Denotes Equal Contribution.

Trask, S., Ferrara, N.C., Jasnow, A.M., Kwapis, J.L. (2021). Contributions Of The Cingulate-retrosplenial Cortical Axis To Associative Learning And Memory: A Proposed Circuit For Persistent Memory Maintenance. Neuroscience & Biobehavioral Reviews, 130, 178-184.

Trask, S., Pullins, S.E., Ferrara, N.C., & Helmstetter, F.J. (2021). The Anterior Retrosplenial Cortex Encodes Event-related Information And The Posterior Retrosplenial Cortex Encodes Context-related Information During Memory Formation. Neuropsychopharmacology, 46, 1386-1392. [Article Featured On Cover Image.]

Ferrara, N.C., Trask, S., & Rosenkranz, J.A. (2021). Maturation Of Amygdala Inputs Regulate Shifts In Social And Fear Behaviors: A Substrate For Developmental Effects Of Stress. Neuroscience And Biobehavioral Reviews, 125, 11-25.

Report a Problem