Dr. "Jay" Wright, Regents Professor,
Department of Psychology
Phone: (509) 335-2329
Dr. Wright's laboratory has determined that a new angiotensin
receptor subtype (AT4) is involved in the acquisition of associative and
spatial learning and in memory consolidation. This receptor subtype is
heavily distributed in brain structures known to play important roles in
cognitive processing such as hippocampus, neocortex and habenula, and in
sensory and motor areas such as thalamus and cerebellum.
Intracerebroventricular (icv) infusion of AT4 agonists have been
shown to facilitate the acquisition of spatial learning, while the icv
infusion of AT4 antagonists significantly interferes with such
acquisition. A strong positive correlation was derived between the
formation of new memories and the activation of membrane metaloproteases
(MMP) in the hippocampus. His laboratory is presently testing the
hypothesis that memory consolidation for newly acquired spatial
information occurs primarily during the theta wave stage of sleep and
only if MMP activation is permitted to occur. The disruption of theta
wave stage during sleep has been shown to interfere with memory
consolidation by other laboratories (Winson, Science 1978, 201: 160-163;
Smith & Rhodes, Physiol. and Behav. 1996, 59: 93-97; Smith & Rose, Behav.
Neurosci. 1997, 11:1197-1204). If this hypothesis is confirmed, Dr.
Wrights lab will determine whether chronic icv infusion of an AT4
agonist facilitates theta wave sleep and MMP activation; and whether
infusion of AT4 antagonist disrupts theta wave sleep and MMP production.
Confirmation of this hypothesis may suggest an endogenous mechanism of
plasticity underlying memory and coding.
John W. Wright, Professor, completed his B.A. and M.S. in psychology
at Western Washington University in 1966 and 1968, respectively, and his
Ph.D. in experimental psychology at Michigan State University in 1971.
He was a postdoctoral fellow in biophysics at Michigan State University
and the University of Michigan in 1971-72 and was an assistant professor
of psychology at Fordham University from 1972-75 before coming to
Washington State University.
Wilson, W.L., Roques, B.P., Llorens-Cortes, C., Speth, R.C., Harding,
J.W. and Wright, J.W. 2005. Roles of brain
angiotensin II and III in thirst and sodium appetite. Brain
Research, 1060: 108-117.
Murphy, E.S., Harding, J.W., Muhunthan, K., Holtfreter, K.L. and
Wright, J.W. 2005. Role of mitogen-activated
protein kinases during recovery from head-shake response habituation in
rats. Brain Research 1050: 170-179.
Davis, C.J., Kramar, E.A., De, A., Meighan, P.C., Simasko, S.M.,
Wright, J.W., and Harding, J.W. 2006. AT4
receptor activation increases intacellular calcium influx and induces a
non-N-methyl-D-aspartate dependent form of long-term potentiation.
Neuroscience, 137: 1369-1379.
Meighan, P.C., Meighan, P.C., Choudhury, P., Davis, C.J., Olson,
M.L., Zornes, P.A., Wright, J.W. and Harding, J.W.
2006. Effects of extracellular matrix-degrading proteasesmatrix
metalloproteinases 3 and 9 on spatial learning and synaptic plasticity.
Journal of Neurochemsitry, 96:1227-1241.
Wright, J.W. and Harding, J.W. 2006.
Angiotensins in brain function. In Handbook of Neurochemistry and
Molecular Neurobiology, 3rd Edition. Ed. R. Lim. Springer/Verlag
Wright, J.W. and Harding, J.W. 2006. The
role of brain angiotensin system in learning, memory, and neural
plasticity. In Progress in Learning Research. Ed. F.
Columbus. Nova Science Publishers, Inc.