Robert-Koch-Str. 27 a
+ 49 251-83.58112 (phone)
+ 49 251-83.55551 (fax)

  • Curriculum vitae

    Professional Appointments

    Oct 2022 – Current Post-doctoral researcher in Kay Jüngling Lab.
    Postdoc researcher in the DFG funded A475. (Sex-specific impact of NPS on fear behaviour in mice)
    Jan 2016 – Jun 2022 Post-doctoral researcher in Denise Manahan-Vaughan Lab.
    Postdoc researcher in the DFG-funded collaborative research centre SFB1280. (Extinction learning). RUB. Germany.
    Sept 2011- Oct 2015 Predoctoral Researcher, Severo Ochoa Fellow.
    PI Nelida Conejo. (Spatial memory retrieval and Extinction). University of Oviedo. Spain.


    September 2020 Accreditation as Junior Professor (PAD 2020-4431)
    National Agency for Quality Assessment and Accreditation (ANECA) Ministry of Universities-Government of Spain
    July 2015 Doctor Cum Laude (Max qualification).
    University of Oviedo, Spain
    Title: “Neural basis underlying spatial memory retrieval and extinction”
    Extaordinary Prize upon Doctorate in Health Sciences in January 2017
    2011 Master in Neuroscience Research
    University of Oviedo, Spain
    Title: “Neural basis of spatial memory retrieval and extinction”
    2010 Bachelor (B.S) in Biology
    University of Oviedo, Spain
    Extraordinary prize upon graduation in biology degree in January 2011

    Current Research Lines

    Neurophysiological basis of extinction and renewal of associative memory both health and pathology.

    I am also interested to know to what extent neuromodulatory structures and synaptic plasticity-related proteins contribute to the above-mentioned processes (Neuropeptides S and Y, BDNF, GABA, voltage-dependent calcium channels and Oxytocin).

    Grants and Projects

    Principal investigator (PI)

    Characterization of the Neural Basis underlying Appetitive Extinction in a model of Psychosis disorders. Treasure Project.
    Deutsche Forschung Gemeinschaft (DFG)-German Research Fundation
    Dept. Neurophysiology. Medical Faculty. Ruhr-University Bochum, Germany and Neuroscience & Mental Health Research Institute. School of Medicine. Cardiff. The UK.
    Feb 2020 to July 2021, 18 months.


  • Publications


    1. Gasalla P, Dwyer D., Hall J, Manahan-Vaughan D, Méndez-Couz M. Context-specific extinction learning in CACNA1A model of psychosis changes limbic activation. Neuropharmacology. 2023 DOI: 10.1016/j.neuropharm.2023.109444 .
    2. Caragea VM, Méndez-Couz M & Manahan-Vaughan D. Dopamine receptors of the rodent fastigial nucleus support skilled reaching for goal-directed action. Brain Struct Funct (2023).


    1. Rayan A- Donoso JR, Méndez-Couz M, Dolón L, Cheng S, Manahan-Vaughan D. Learning shifts the preferred theta phase of gamma oscillations in CA1. 2022.


    1. Méndez-Couz M, González-Pardo H, Arias L, Conejo NM. Hippocampal neuropeptide Y2 receptor blockade improves spatial memory retrieval and modulates limbic brain metabolism. Neurobiology of Learning and Memory. 2021.
    2. Méndez-Couz M, Krenzek B, Manahan-Vaughan D. Genetic depletion of BDNF impairs both context-dependent and context-independent extinction learning of a spatial appetitive task. Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience. 2021 DOI: 10.3389/fnbeh.2021.65868
    3. Méndez-Couz M, Silva AP, Manahan-Vaughan D, González-Pardo H, Arias JL, Conejo NM. Metaplastic contribution of Neuropeptide Y receptors to spatial memory acquisition. Behavioural brain research. 1;396:112864 .2021. DOI: 10.1016/j.bbr.2020.112864


    1. Méndez-Couz M, Becker JM, Manahan-Vaughan D. Functional compartmentalization of the contribution of hippocampal subfields to context-dependent extinction learning. Frontiers in Behavioural Neuroscience. 2019.  DOI: 10.3389/fnbeh.2019.00256


    1. Méndez-Couz M, Becker JM, Manahan-Vaughan D. Functional compartmentalization of the contribution of hippocampal subfields to context-dependent extinction learning. Frontiers in Behavioural Neuroscience. 2019.  DOI: 10.3389/fnbeh.2019.00256
    2. Méndez-Couz M, González-Pardo H, Vallejo G, Arias JL, Conejo N.M. Spatial memory extinction differentially affects dorsal and ventral hippocampal metabolic activity and associated functional brain networks. Hippocampus. 2016 Apr 22. DOI: 10.1002/hipo.22602.


    1. Méndez-Couz M, Conejo N.M, Vallejo G, Arias JL. Brain functional network changes following prelimbic area inactivation in a spatial memory extinction task. Behavioural Brain Research. 287:247-255. 2015. DOI:10.1016/j.bbr.2015.03.033
    2. Méndez-Couz M, Conejo NM, González-Pardo H, Arias JL Functional interactions between dentate gyrus, striatum and anterior thalamic nuclei on spatial memory retrieval. Brain Research. 1605:59-69. 2015. DOI: 10.1016/j.brainres.2015.02.005.


    1. Méndez-Couz M, Conejo NM, Vallejo G, Arias JL. “Spatial memory extinction: a c-Fos protein mapping study". Behavioural Brain Research 260(214)101-110. 2014. DOI: 10.1016/j.bbr.2013.11.032.


    1. Conejo NM, Cimadevilla J, González-Pardo H, Méndez-Couz M, Arias JL. "Hippocampal inactivation with TTX impairs long-term spatial memory retrieval and modifies brain metabolic activity". PloS ONE. 28;8(5):e64749. 2013. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0064749
    2. Peredo EL, Méndez M, Revilla MA, Fernández H. "Mating System in Blechnum spicant and Dryopteris affinis ssp. affinis Correlates with Genetic Variability". American Fern Journal. 103(1):27-39.2013. DOI: