In my research, I am invPhoto of SiWEiestigating the neural mechanisms underlying appetitive and aversive forms of conditioning by measuring immediate-early gene (IEG; Egr-1 and c-Fos) expression patterns in response to the presentation of a learned odor conditioned stimulus. The IEG response has traditionally been used as a marker of neuronal activity due to its rapid and transient properties.   An accumulating body of literaturSiWei_Luo_IEG_annote has shown that IEG expression is crucial for long-term memory formation and synaptic plasticity.  I am interested in both olfactory regions (olfactory bulb, anterior olfactory nucleus, piriform cortex) and areas previously associated with appetitive or aversive conditioning (orbitofrontal cortex, amygdalar complex, ventral striatum, ventral pallidum, nucleus accumbens, ventral tegmental area, insular cortex, substantial nigra pars compacta, and lateral hypothalamus).  Beyond research, I am interested in art and performing delicious culinary experiments in my kitchen.