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Richard Frederick Thompson

University Professor Emeritus and William M. Keck Chair Emeritus in Psychology and Biological Sciences

Contact Information
E-mail: thompson@usc.edu
Phone: (213) 821-1454
Office: HNB 126

LINKS
Faculty Profile on Departmental Website
 

Education

Ph.D. , University of Wisconsin, Madison, 1/1956
M.S. , University of Wisconsin, Madison, 1/1953
B.A. , Reed College, 1/1952
 

Postdoctoral Training

NIH Postdoctoral Fellowship, University of Wisconsin, 1956-1959  
 

Academic Appointment, Affiliation, and Employment History

William M. Keck Chair in Biological Sciences and Professor of Psychology, University of Southern California, 01/01/1987-  
Professor of Psychology and Bing Professor of Human Biology, Stanford University, 01/01/1980-01/01/1987  
Chair, Program in Human Biology, Stanford University, 01/01/1980-01/01/1985  
Psychobiology, Professor, University of California, Irvine, 01/01/1967-01/01/1980  
Psychology Professor, Harvard University, 01/01/1973-01/01/1974  
 

Description of Research

Summary Statement of Research Interests

Behavioral neuroscientist Richard F. Thompson has spent 45 years patiently researching one problem: the physical basis of memory - specifically, the kind of memory involved in the classical conditioning described a century ago by Ivan Pavlov. He studies how humans learn and remember. Experiments using mutant mice have not only allowed Thompson to confirm the role of the cerebellum, but to isolate the effect of each particular type of cell in the brain structure and identify its specific contribution to the learning process. In 2002, he became the first to identify and map the neural circuits responsible for classical conditioning.
 

Affiliations with Research Centers, Labs, and Other Institutions

NIBS, The Neuroscience Graduate Program, http://www.usc.edu/dept/nbio/ngp/index.shtml
 

Publications

Book

Baudry, M., Davis, J. L., Thompson, R. F. (2000). Advances in Synaptic Plasticity. The MIT Press.
 

Book Chapter

Thompson, R. F., Grethe, J. S., Berger, T. W., Xie, X. (2001). Respositories for the Storage of Experimental Neuroscience Data. pp. p.100-135. Computing the Brain: A Guide to Neuroinformatics/Academic Press.
Thompson, R. F. (2001). Spinal plasticity. pp. p. 1-11. Norwell, MA: Spinal Cord Plasticity: Alterations in Reflex Function/Kluwer Academic Press.
Thompson, R. F. (2001). Behavioral Neuroscience. pp. p. 1118-1125. Oxford, UK: International Encyclopedia of the Social and Behavioral Sciences/Elsevier Science.
Thompson, R. F. (2001). Habituation. pp. p. 6458-6462. Oxford, UK: International Encyclopedia of the Social and Behavioral Sciences/Elsevier Science.
Thompson, R. F. (2001). Karl Spencer Lashley (1890-1958). pp. p. 8392-8394. Oxford, UK: International Encyclopedia of the Social and Behavioral Sciences/Elsevier Science.
Thompson, R. F. (2000). Habituation. pp. p. 47-50. Encyclopedia of Psychology/Oxford University Press.
Thompson, R. F. (2000). Memory: Brain Systems. pp. p. 175-178. Thompson, R.F. (2000). Memory: Brain Systems. In Encyclopedia of Psychology (Vol. 5, pp. 175-178). New York: Oxford University Press./Oxford University Press.
Thompson, R. F. (2000). Skill learning: the role of the cerebellum. pp. p. 215-231. King, D. A. T., & Thompson, R. F. (2000). Skill learning: the role of the cerebellum. In J. J. Bolhuis (Ed.), Brain, perception, memory: Advances in Cognitive Neuroscience (pp.215-231). New York: Oxford University Press/Oxford University Press.
Thompson, R. F. (2000). Thompson R. F. (2000). Discovering the brain substrates of eyeblink classical conditioning. In D. S. Woodruff-Pak, & J. E. Steinmetz (Eds.), Eyeblink classical conditioning Vol. 2: Animal models (17-49). Boston, MA: Kluwer Academic Press. pp. p. 17-49. Norwell, MA: Eyeblink classical conditioning Vol. 2: Animal models/Kluwer Academic Press.
Thompson, R. F. (1999). Thompson, R. F. (1999). Conditioning and the brain. In Wilson, R. A., & Keil, F. C. (Eds.), The MIT encyclopedia of the cognitive sciences (pp. 184-186). Cambridge, M.A: The MIT Press. pp. p.184-186. The MIT encyclopedia of the cognitive sciences/The MIT Press.
Thompson, R. F. (1999). Thompson, R. F. (1999). Lashley, Karl Spencer (1890-1958). In Wilson, R. A. &, Keil, F. C. (Eds.), The MIT Encyclopedia of the Cognitive Sciences (pp. 458-460). Cambridge, M.A: The MIT Press. pp. p. 458-460. The MIT encyclopedia of the cognitive sciences/The MIT Press.
Thompson, R. F. Thompson, R.F. (1998). Clinton Nathan Woolsey 1904 - 1993. Biographical Memoirs, vol. 76, pp. 3-16, Washington: The National Academy Press. pp. p. 3-16. Washington: The National Academy Press./The National Academy Press.
Thompson, R. F. Beggs, J. M, Brown, T. H., Byrne, J. H., Crow, T., LeDoux, J. E., LeBar, K., & Thompson, R. F. (1999). Learning & Memory: Basic Mechanisms, Chapter 55. In Zigmond et al. (Eds.), Fundamental Neuroscience. (pp. 1411-1454). New York, NY: Academic Press. pp. p.1411-1454. Fundamental Neuroscience/Academic Press.
Thompson, R. F. Thompson, R.F. (1999). Learning and memory. In Adelman, G., and Smith, B.H. (ED.) Elsevier’s Encyclopedia of Neuroscience 2nd Edition. Amsterdam: Elsevier Science, 1037-1039. pp. p. 1037-1039. Oxford, UK: Elsevier’s Encyclopedia of Neuroscience 2nd Edition/Elsevier Science.
Thompson, R. F. Thompson, R.F. (1999). Learning and memory, neural mechanisms. In Adelman G., and Smith, B.H. (ED.) Elsevier’s Encyclopedia of Neuroscience 2nd Edition. Amsterdam: Elsevier Science, 1039-1041. pp. p. 1039-1041. Oxford, UK: Elsevier’s Encyclopedia of Neuroscience 2nd Edition./Elsevier Science.
Thompson, R. F. Thompson, R.F. (1999). The memory trace. In Adelman G., and Smith, B.H. (ED.) Elsevier’s Encyclopedia of Neuroscience 2nd Edition. Amsterdam: Elsevier Science,1141-1144. pp. p. 1141-1144. Oxford, UK: Elsevier’s Encyclopedia of Neuroscience 2nd Edition/Elsevier Science.
Thompson, R. F. Thompson, R.F. (1999). James Olds 1922-1976. Biographical Memoirs, vol. 77, pp.1-19, Washington: The National Academy Press. pp. p. 1-19. Biographical Memoirs/The National Academy Press.
 

Journal Article

Mojtahedian, S., Kogan, D. R., Kanzawa, S. A., Thompson, R. F., Lavond, D. G. (2007). Dissociation of conditioned eye and limb responses in the cerebellar interpositus. Physiology and Behavior. Vol. NA
Thompson, R. F. (2005). Christian, K. M., & Thompson, R. F. (2005) Neurobiological fondations of stress. In S. Yehuda & D. I. Mostofsky (eds.) Nutrients, Stress and Medical Disorders. Totowa, NJ: Humana Press. No Journal Defined. pp. p. 37-65.
Thompson, R. F. (2005). Christian, K. M., Poulos, A. M., & Thompson, R.F. (2005) Learning and Memory. Basic Principles and Model Systems. In Selzer, M. E., Clarks, S., Cohen, L. G., Duncan, P. W. and Gage, F. H. (Eds.) Textbook of Neural Repair and Rehabilitation Vol. 1 Cam. No Journal Defined. pp. p. 26-43.
Christian, K. M., Poulous, A. M., Lavond, D. G., Thompson, R. F. (2004). Comment on. Science. Vol. 304, pp. 211.
Bi, R., Foy, M., Vouimba, R., Thompson, R. F., Baudry, M. (2001). Cyclic changes in estradiol regulate synaptic plasticity through the MAP kinase pathway. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA. Vol. vol. 98, pp. pp. 13391-13395.
Gluck, M. A., Allen, M. T., Myers, C. E., Thompson, R. F. (2001). Cerebellar substrates for error-correction in motor conditioning. Neurobiology of Learning and Memory. pp. p. 234-245.
Case, G. R., Lavond, D. G., Thompson, R. F. (2001). Cortical spreading depression and involvement of the motor cortex, auditory cortex, and cerebellum in eyeblink classical conditioning of the rabbit. Neurobiology of Learning and Memory. Vol. vol. 78, pp. pp. 234-245.
King, D., Krupa, D., Foy, M., Thompson, R. F. (2001). Mechanisms of neuronal conditioning. International Review of Neurobiology/Not Available. Vol. v.45, pp. pp. 313-337.
Thompson, R. F. (2001). Commentary on E.R. John et al. Consciousness and Cognition/Not Available. Vol. v. 10, pp. pp. 245.
Bi, R., Broutman, G., Foy, M., Thompson, R. F., Baudry, M. (2000). The tyrosine kinase and MAP kinase pathways mediate multiple effects of estrogen in hippocampus. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA. Vol. vol. 97, pp. pp. 3602-3607.
Vouimba, R., Garcia, R., Baudry, M., Thompson, R. F. (2000). Potentiation of conditioned freezing following dorsomedial prefrontal cortex lesions does not interfere with fear reduction in mice. Behavioral Neuroscience/Not Available. Vol. vol. 114, pp. pp. 720-724.
Petrovich, G. D., Thompson, R. F. (2000). Associative fear conditioning of enkephalin mRNA levels in central amygdalar neurons. Behavioral Neuroscience/Not Available. Vol. vol. 114, pp. pp. 681-686.
Bao, S., Chen, L., Thompson, R. F. (2000). Learning-and-cerebellum-dependent neuronal activity in the lateral pontine nucleus. Behavioral Neuroscience/Not Available. Vol. vol. 114, pp. pp. 254-261.
Sassa, T., Gomi, H., Sun, W., Ikeda, T., Thompson, R. F., Itohara, S. (2000). Identification of variants and dual promoters of murine serine/threonine kinase KKIAMRE. Journal of Neurochemistry/Not Available. Vol. vol. 74, pp. pp. 1809-1819.
Thompson, R. F., Swain, R., Clark, R., Shinkman, P. S. (2000). Intracerebellar conditioning - Brogden and Gantt revisited. Behavioral Brain Research/Not Available. Vol. vol. 110, pp. pp. 3-11.
Foy, M., Henderson, V. W., Berger, T. W., Thompson, R. F. (2000). Estrogen and neural Plasticity. Current Directions in Psychological Science/Not Available. Vol. vol. 9, pp. pp. 148-152.
Vouimba, R., Foy, M., Foy, J. G., Thompson, R. F. (2000). 17-B estradiol suppresses expression of long-term depression in aged rats. Brain Research Bulletin/Not Available. Vol. vol. 53, pp. pp. 783-787.
Gomi, H., Sun, W., Finch, C., Itohara, S., Yoshimi, K., Thompson, R. F. (1999). Learning induces a CDC2-related protein kinase, KKIAMRE. Journal of Neuroscience. Vol. vol. 19, pp. pp. 9530-9537.
Chen, L., Bao, S., Qiao, X., Thompson, R. F. (1999). Impaired cerebellar synapse maturation in waggler, a mutant mouse with a disrupted neuronal calcium channel y subunit. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA. Vol. vol. 96, pp. pp.12132-12137.
Foy, M., Xu, J., Xie, X., Brinton, R. D., Thompson, R. F., Berger, T. W. (1999). 17B-estradiol enhances NMDA receptor-mediated EPSPs and long-term potentiation. Journal of Neurophysiology/Not Available. Vol. vol. 81, pp. pp. 925-929.
Bailey, D. J., Kim, J. J., Sun, W., Thompson, R. F., Helmstetter, F. J. (1999). Acquisition of fear conditioning in rats requires the synthesis of mRNA in the amygdala. Behavioral Neuroscience/Not Available. Vol. vol. 113, pp. pp. 276-282.
Chen, L., Bao, S., Thompson, R. F. (1999). Bilateral lesions of the interpositus nucleus completely prevent eyeblink conditioning in Purkinje cell degeneration mutant mice. Behavioral Neuroscience/Not Available. Vol. vol. 113, pp. pp. 204-210.
Swain, R., Thompson, R. F. (1999). Essential neuronal pathways for reflex and conditioned response initiation in an intracerebellar stimulation paradigm and the impact of unconditioned stimulus preexposure on learning rate. Learning and Memory/Not Available. Vol. vol. 92, pp. pp.167-193.
Anderson, B. J., Thompson, R. F. (1999). The effects of paired and unpaired eyeblink conditioning on Purkinje cell morphology. Learning & Memory. Vol. vol. 6, pp. pp.128-137.
Bao, S., Chen, L., Qiao, X., Thompson, R. F. (1999). Transgenic brain-derived neurotrophic factor modulates a developing cerebellar inhibitory synapse. Learning & Memory. Vol. vol. 6, pp. pp. 276-283.
Shih, J. C., Thompson, R. F. (1999). Monomine oxidase in neuropsychiatry and behavior. American Journal of Human Genetics. Vol. vol. 65, pp. pp. 593-598.
Garcia, R., Vouimba, R., Baudry, M., Thompson, R. F. (1999). The amygdala modulates prefrontal cortex activity relative to conditioned fear. Nature. Vol. vol. 402, pp. pp. 294-296.
Thompson, R. F., Thomson, J. K., Kim, J. J., Krupa, D., Shinkman, P. G. (1998). The nature of reinforcement in cerebellar learning. Neurobiology of Learning and Memory. Vol. vol. 70, pp. pp. 150-176..
Gagné, J., Gélinas, S., Martinoli, M. G., Foster, T. C., Ohayon, M., Thompson, R. F. (1998). AMPA receptor properties in adult rat hippocampus following environmental enrichment. Brain Research. Vol. vol. 799, pp. pp. 16-25.
Hauge, S. A., Tracy, J. A., Baudry, M., Thompson, R. F. (1998). Selective changes in AMPA receptors in rabbit cerebellum following classical conditioning of the eyelid-nictitating membrane response. Brain Research. Vol. vol. 803, pp. pp. 9-18.
Sprengel, R., Thompson, R. F. (1998). Importance of the Intracellular domain of NR2 subunits for NMDA receptor function in vivo. Cell. Vol. vol. 92, pp. pp. 279-289..
 

Other

Thompson, R. F. Bao, S., Chen, L. and Thompson, R.F. (1998). Classical eyeblink conditioning in two strains of mice: Conditioned responses, sensitization and spontaneous eyeblinks. Behavioral Neuroscience, 112, 714-718.
Thompson, R. F. Bao, S., Chen, L., Qiao, X., Knusel, B. (1998). Impaired eyeblink conditioning in waggler, a mutant mouse with cerebellar BDNF deficiency. Learning and Memory, 5, 355-364.
 

Honors and Awards

USC University Professor, 1/17/2008-  
American Academy of Arts and Sciences Fellow, 1989-  
USC Endowed Chair, William M. Keck Chair in Biological Sciences, 1987-  
National Academy Member, 1977-  
Fellow (or Equivalent) of National Society in Discipline, American Association for the Advancement of Science, 1977-  
USC Associates Award For Creativity In Research And Scholarship, 2000  
D. G. Marquis Behavioral Neuroscience Award, American Psychological Association, 1999  
Who is Who in America, 1979  
Honorary Master of Arts Degree, Harvard University, 1973  
 
 
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