Learning and memory Laboratories

The main research activities in these labs include: electrophysiology and Behavioral studies. 

Dr. Rashidy-Pour laboratory (& Dr Vafaei as collaborator)


A- Electrophysiological Recording Lab.

The principal research interest of this laboratory is to understand the cellular / neurophysiological mechanisms underlying neuronal function with focus on the critical role of the hippocampus and other brain areas in neuronal plasticity.  Also we focus particularly on a remarkable form of synaptic plasticity known as long-term potentiation or LTP on hippocampus, single unit recording and field potential from brain nucleus, which are involved in processes of learning and memory.


Lab facilities and instruments

Oscilloscopes, Microelectrode amplifiers. Stimulators, Steriotaxic and , Field potential recording setup, single unit recording setup and so on. 


Ali Rashidy-Pour, Ph.D, Professor of physiology and Neuroscince

Email: rashidy-pour@semums.ac.ir



Dr. Vafaei laboratory (& Dr Rashidy-pour as collaborator)


B- Behavioral Laboratories

The main goal of this lab is testing the effects of environmental, physical and pharmacological agents on various aspects of cognitive functions in experimental animals including rats and mice. We use different models for testing the spatial and non-spatial (classical and inhibitory conditioning) memory and anxiety. These methods are as following:

- Auditory Fear conditioning task

- Passive Avoidance task

- T maze

- Fear conditioning task

-Morris water maze

- Elevated plus maze

- Motor movement measurement


Abbas Ali Vafaei, Ph.D, Professor of Physiology

Email: aavaf43@semums.ac.ir


Students in our labs are:

Shafiaa S, Drafshpour L, Dadkhah M, Moradi N, Abdollahi P, Ghalandari M, Nourizad S (PhD students)

Mohammadi F, Shahroudi A (MSc students)

Boustani A, Rajabzadeh H (medical students)


Currently, we have few vacancies for new postgraduate students in physiology.


Current research projects:

- Studying the effect of voluntary exercise and crocin on cognitive and behavioral impairments induced by juvenile’ chronic stress in adult male rats

- Investigating the effects and potential mechanisms of the protective effects of acute morphine administration on Posttraumatic Stress Disorder –PTSD- in an experimental model

- Studying the role of pre and infra limbic of prefrontal cortex and glucocorticoid receptors on retrieval and extinction memory in fear conditional model in rat: Behavioral, Biochemical, Histological study

- Studying the interaction of cannabinoid and glucocorticoid receptors in Infralimbic of prefrontal cortex, CA1 of Hippocampus and Basolateral amygdala on extinction memory in fear conditional model in rat

- Studying the therapeutic effects of spirulina microalgae, voluntary exercise and environmental enrichment on cognitive-behavioral impairment, structural, molecular and electrophysiological changes induced by juvenile stress in adult female rats


Recent Publications


- Shafiee SM, Vafaei AA, Rashidy-Pour A. Effects of maternal hypothyroidism during pregnancy on learning, memory and hippocampal BDNF in rat pups: Beneficial effects of exercise.Neuroscience. 2016 Aug 4;329:151-61.


- Amiri S, Jafarian Z, Vafaei AA, Motaghed-Larijani Z, Samaei SA, Rashidy-Pour A. Glucocorticoids Interact with Cholinergic System in Impairing Memory Reconsolidation of an Inhibitory Avoidance Task in Mice.Basic Clin Neurosci. 2015 Jul;6(3):155-62.

- Ahmadalipour A, Sadeghzadeh J, Vafaei AA, Bandegi AR, Mohammadkhani R,Rashidy-Pour A. Effects of environmental enrichment on behavioral deficits and alterations in hippocampal BDNF induced by prenatal exposure to morphine in juvenile rats.Neuroscience. 2015 Oct 1;305:372-83

- Mohammadkhani R, Darbandi N, Vafaei AA, Ahmadalipour A, Rashidy-Pour A.

Glucocorticoid-induced impairment of long-term memory retrieval in female rats: influences of estrous cycle and estrogen.Neurobiol Learn Mem. 2015 Feb;118:209-15.