TREIT, Dallas

PhD, University of British Columbia



My long-term research goal is to understand the neural basis of anxiety. Anxiety can be viewed as a psychological process necessary for the survival of organisms and, in its extreme form, as a psychological process that can severely impair the adaptive behaviour of organisms. In either case, understanding the neural basis of anxiety is of both theoretical and practical importance. I have approached this problem in two ways: first, by developing animal models that represent some aspects of the behavioural, physiological, and pharmacological correlates of fear or anxiety in humans; and second, by examining the behavioural effects of selective neurological interventions in these animal models. Using this approach we have found that different areas of the brain seem to exert specialized and independent control over different anxiety reactions, a situation not unlike the control of motor, sensory, and memory functions.


Yeung M, Treit DR (2012). The anxiolytic effects of somatostatin following intra-septal and intra-amygdalar microinfusions are reversed by the selective sst2 antagonist PRL2903. Pharmacology Biochemistry and Behavior 101: 88–92.

McEown K, Treit DR (2011). Mineralocorticoid receptors in the medial prefrontal cortex and hippocampus mediate rats’ unconditioned fear behavior. Hormones and Behavior 60: 581–588.

Yeung M, Treit DR, Dickson CT (2011). A Critical Test of the Hippocampal Theta Model of Anxiolytic Drug Action. Neuropharmacology 62 : 155-160

Yeung M, Engin E, Treit D. (2011). Anxiolytic-like effects of somatostatin isoforms SST 14 and SST 28 in two animal models (Rattus norvegicus) after intra-amygdalar and intra-septal microinfusions. Psychopharmacology 216, 557-567.

McEown, E., & Treit, D (2010). Inactivation of the dorsal or ventral hippocampus with muscimol differentially affects fear and memory. Brain Research 1353, 145 151.

Engin E, Treit D. (2009). Somatostatin SST-2 receptors mediate the anxiolytic- and antidepressant-like effects of somatostatin. Psychopharmacology, 206, 281-289.

Treit, D., Engin, E., & McEown, K., (2009). "Animal Models of Anxiety and Anxiolytic Drug Action".In: M. Stein & T. Steckler (Eds.) CTBN Behavioral Neurobiology of Anxiety and its Treatment, Springer Verlag, in press.

McEown, K., & Treit, D. (2009).  The role of the dorsal and ventral hippocampus in fear and memory of a shock-probe experience. Brain Research, 1251, 185-194.

Engin, E., Stellbrink, J., Treit, D., & Dickson, C.T. (2008). Anxiolytic and antidepressant effects of intracerebroventricularly administered somatostatin: behavioral and neurophysiological evidence. Neuroscience, 157, 166-176.

Engin, E., & Treit, D. (2008). Dissociation of the anxiolytic-like effects of Avpr1a and Avpr1b receptor antagonists in the dorsal and ventral hippocampus. Neuropeptides 42, 411–421.

Engin, E., & Treit, D. (2008). The effects of intra-cerebral drug infusions on animals' unconditioned fear reactions: A systematic review. Progress in Neuro-sychopharmacology & Biological Psychiatry, 32, 1399–1419.

Engin, E., & Treit, D. (2007). The anxiolytic-like effects of allopregnanolone vary as a function of intracerebral microinfusion site: the amygdala, medial prefrontal cortex, or hippocampus. Behavioural Pharmacology, 18, 461–470.

Engin, E., & Treit, D. (2007). The role of hippocampus in anxiety: intracerebral infusion studies. Behavioural Pharmacology, 18,365–374.

Treit, D., & Pinel, J.P.J. (2005). “Defensive burying” In: I.Q. Wishaw and B. Kold (Eds.) The Behavior of the Laboratory Rat. New York : Oxford University Press, 353-362.

Shah, A.A., Sjovold, T., & Treit, D. (2004). Inactivation of the medial prefrontal cortex with the GABAA agonist muscimol increases open-arm activity in the elevated plus-maze and attenuates shock-probe burying in rats. Brain Research, 1028 , 112-115.

Shah, A.A., Sjovold, T., & Treit, D. (2004). Selective antagonism of medial prefrontal cortex D 4 receptors decreases fear-related behaviour in rats. European Journal of Neuroscience 19, 3393-3397.

Shah A.A., &Treit, D. (2004). Infusions of midazolam into the medial prefrontal cortex produce anxiolytic effects in the elevated plus-maze and shock-probe burying tests. Brain Research 996, 31-40.

Degroot A., &Treit, D. (2004). Anxiety is functionally segregated within the septo-hippocampal system. Brain Research 1001, 60-71.

Lehmann, H., Treit, D., & Parent M.B. (2003). Spared anterograde memory for shock-probe fear conditioning after inactivation of the amygdala. Learning and Memory 10, 261-269.

Degroot, A., & Treit, D. (2003). Septal GABAergic and hippocampal cholinergic systems interact in the modulation of anxiety. Neuroscience 117, 493-501.

Shah A.A., & Treit, D. (2003). Excitotoxic lesions of the medial prefrontal cortex attenuate fear responses in the elevated plus-maze, social interaction and shock probe burying test. Brain Research 696, 183-194.

Treit D., Degroot , A., & Shah, A. (2003). “Animal models of anxiety and anxiolytic drug action” In: S Kasper , J A den Boer and JMA Sitsen (Eds). Handbook of Depression and Anxiety, 2 nd edition. New York : Marcel Dekker, 681-702.

Degroot, A., & Treit, D. (2002). Dorsal and ventral hippocampal cholinergic systems modulate anxiety in the plus-maze and shock-probe tests. Brain Research 949, 60-70.

Degroot, A., & Treit, D. (2001). Septal GABAergic and hippocampal cholinergic systems modulate anxiety in the plus-maze and shock-probe tests. Pharmacology, Biochemistry, & Behavior 69, 391-399.

Treit, D., Degroot, A., Kashluba, S., & Bartoszyk, G. (2001). Systemic EMD 68843 injections reduce anxiety in the shock-probe, but not the plus-maze test. European Journal of Pharmacology 414, 245-248.

Menard, J., & Treit, D. (2001). The anxiolytic effects of intra-hippocampal midazolam are antagonized by intra-septal L-glutamate. Brain Research 888, 163-166.

Lehmann, H., Treit, D., & Parent, M. (2000). Amygdala lesions do not impair shock-probe avoidance retention performance. Behavioral Neuroscience 114, 107-116.

Menard, J., & Treit, D. (2000). Intra-septal infusions of excitatory amino acid receptor antagonists have differential effects in two animal models of anxiety. Behavioural Pharmacology 11, 99-108.

Treit, D., & Menard, J. (2000).The septum and anxiety. In R. Numan (Ed.), The Behavioral Neuroscience of the Septal Region, New York : Springer, 210-233.

Kalynchuk, L., Pinel, J., & Treit, D. (1999). Characterization of the defensive nature of kindling-induced emotionality. Behavioral Neuroscience 113, 766-775.

Menard, J., & Treit, D. (1999).Effects of centrally administered anxiolytic compounds in animal models of anxiety. Neuroscience and Biobehavioral Reviews 23, 591-613.

Treit, D., Aujla, H., & Menard, J. (1998). Does the bed nucleus of the stria terminalis mediate fear behaviors? Behavioral Neuroscience, 112, 379-386.

Menard, J., & Treit, D. (1998). The septum and the hippocampus differentially mediate anxiolytic effects of R(+)-8-OH-DPAT. Behavioural Pharmacology, 9, 93-101.

Fiorino, D., Treit, D., Menard, J., Lermer, L., & Phillips, A. (1998). Is barakol anxiolytic? Behavioural Pharmacology, 9, 375-378.

Kalynchuk, L., Pinel, J., & Treit, D. (1998). Long-term kindling and interictal emotionality in rats: effect of stimulation site. Brain Research, 779, 149-157.

Kalynchuk, L., Pinel, J., Treit, D., Barnes, S., McEachern, J., & Tippin, T. (1998). Persistence of the interictal emotionality produced by long-term amygdaloid kindling in rats. Neuroscience , 85 , 1311-1319.

Treit, D. & Menard, J. (1998). Animal models of anxiety and depression. In: Neuromethods: Vol. 32 In Vivo Neuromethods , A. Boulton, G. Baker, and A. Bateson (eds.), Totowa NJ, Humana Press, 89-148.

Pinel, J.P., Kalynchuk, L.E., & Treit D. (1998) Long-term amygdala kindling and defensive behavior in rats In: Kindling 5 V.M. Corcoran and S Moshel (eds.) New York, Plenum Press, 349-360.

Treit, D. & Menard, J. (1997). Dissociations among the anxiolytic effects of septal, hippocampal and amygdaloid lesions. Behavioral Neuroscience , 111 , 653-658.

Kalynchuk, L.E., Pinel, J.P., Treit, D., & Kippin T. (1997). Changes in Emotional Behavior produced by long-term amygdala kindling in rats. Biological Psychiatry , 41 , 438-451.

Pesold, C. & Treit D. (1996). The neuroanatomical specificity of the anxiolytic effects of intra-septal infusions of midazolam. Brain Research , 710 , 161-168.

Menard, J., & Treit, D. (1996). Lateral and medial septal lesions reduce anxiety in the plus-maze and probe-burying tests. Physiology and Behavior , 60 , 845-853.

Paslawski, T., Treit, D., Baker, G.B., George, M. & Coutts R.T. (1996). The antidepressant drug phenelzine produces antianxiety effects in the plus-maze and increases in rat brain GABA. Psychopharmacology , 127 , 19-24.

Menard, J. & Treit, D. (1996). Does Tolerance develop to the anxiolytic effects of septal lesions? Physiology and Behavior , 59 , 311-318.

Pesold, C. & Treit, D. (1995). The central and basolateral amygdala differentially mediate the anxiolytic effects of benzodiazepines. Brain Research 671, 213-221

Treit, D. Menard, J., & Pesold, C. (1994). The shock-probe burying test Neuroscience Protocols 94 , 1-9

Pesold, C. & Treit, D. (1994). The septum and amygdala differentially mediate the anxiolytic effects of benzodiazepines. Brain Research , 638 , 295-301.

Treit., D. (1994) Animal Models of anxiety and anxiolytic drug action In: J.A. den Boer and J.M. Ad Setsen (Eds.), Handbook of Depression and Anxiety , New York , Marcel Dekker, 201-224.

Treit, D. Pesold, C. & Rotzinger, S. (1993). Non-interactive effects of diazepam and amygdaloid lesions in two animal models of anxiety. Behavioral Neuroscience , 107 , 1099-1105.

Treit, D. Pesold. C. & Rotzinger, S. (1993). Dissociating the anti-fear effects of septal and amygdaloid lesions using two pharmacologically validated models of rat anxiety. Behavioral Neuroscience , 107 , 770-785.

Treit, D., Robinson, C. & Rotzinger, S. (1993). Anxiolytic effects of serotonergic intervensions in the shock-probe burying test and the elevated plus-maze test. Behavioural Brain Research , 54 , 23-34.

Treit, D., Menard, J., & Royan, C. (1993). Anxiogenic stimuli in the elevated plus-maze. Pharmacology Biochemistry and Behavior , 44 , 463-469.

Pesold, C. & Treit, D. (1992). Excitotoxic lesions of the septum produce anxiolytic effects in the elevated plus-maze and the shock-probe burying tests. Physiology and Behavior , 52 , 37-47.

Treit, D. (1991). A comparison of the effects of septal lesions and anxiolytic drugs on defensive behavior in rats. The Psychological Record , 41 , 217-231.

Treit, D. (1991). Defensive burying: a pharmacological animal model for specific fears. In: P. Soubrie, P. Simon, and D. Widlocher (Eds.), Animal Models of Psychiatric Disorders , Basal, Karger, 1-19.

Treit, D. (1991). Anxiolytic effects of benzodiazepine and 5-HT 1A agonists: Animal models. In: R.J. Rodgers and S.J. Cooper (Eds.), 5-HT 1A agonists, 5-HT3 antagonists and benzodiazepines: Their Comparative and Behavioural Pharmacology , New York , John Wiley, 107-131.

Treit, D. & Berridge, K. C. (1990). A comparison of benzodiazopine, serotonin, and dopamine agents in the taste-reactivity paradigm. Pharmacology Biochemistry & Behavior , 37 , 451-456.

Treit, D. (1990). A comparison of anxiolytic and non-anxiolytic agents in the shock-probe/burying test for anxiolytics. Pharmacology Biochemistry & Behavior , 36 , 203-205.

Treit, D., & Pesold, C. (1990). Septal lesions inhibit fear reactions in two animal models of anxiolytic drug action. Physiology & Behavior , 47 , 365-371.

Treit, D., & Fundytus, M. (1988). Thigmotaxis as a test for anxiolytic activity in rats. Pharmacology, Biochemistry & Behavior , 31 , 959-962.

Treit, D. & Fundytus, M. (1988). A comparison of buspirone and chlordiazepoxide in the shock-probe/burying test for anxiolytics. Pharmacology, Biochemisty & Behavior , 30 , 1071_1075.

Delamater, A.R. & Treit, D. (1988). Chlordiazepoxide attenuates shock-based and enhances LiCl-based fluid aversions. Learning & Motivation , 19 , 221-238

Berridge, K.C., Fentress, J.C., & Treit, D. (1988). A triggered hyperkinesia induced in rats by lesions of the corpus striatum. Experimental Neurology , 99 , 259-268.

Treit, D. (1987). Ro 15-1788, CGS 8216, Picrotoxin, pentylenetetrazol: Do they antagonize anxiolytic drug effects through an anxiogenic action? Brain Research Bulletin , 19 , 401-405.

Treit, D., Berridge, K.C. & Schultz, C.E. (1987). The direct enhancement of positive palatability by chlordiazepoxide is antagonized by Ro 15-1788 and CGS8216. Pharmacology, Biochemistry & Behavior , 26 , 709-714.

Treit, D., LoLordo, V.M. & Armstrong, E. (1986). The effects of diazepam on 'fear' reactions in rats are modulated by environmental constraints on the rat's defensive repertoire. Pharmacology, Biochemistry & Behavior , 25 , 561-565.

Treit, D. & Spetch, M.L. (1986). Caloric regulation in the rat: Control by two factors. Physiology & Behavior , 36 , 311-317.

Berridge, K.C. & Treit, D. (1986). Chlordiazepoxide directly enhances positive ingestive reactions in rats. Pharmacology, Biochemistry Behavior , 24 , 217-221.

Spetch, M.L. & Treit, D. (1986). Does effort play a role in the effect of response requirements on delayed matching to sample? Journal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior , 45 , 19-31.

Treit, D. (1985). Animal models for the study of anti-anxiety agents: A review. Neuroscience & Biobehavioral Reviews , 9 , 203-222.

Treit, D. (1985). Evidence that tolerance develops to the anxiolytic effect of diazepam in rats. Pharmacology, Biochemistry & Behavior , 22 , 383-387.

Treit, D. (1985). The inhibitory effect of diazepam on defensive burying: Anxiolytic vs. Analgesic Effects. Pharmacology, Biochemistry & Behavior , 22 , 47-52.

Treit, D., Spetch, M.L. & Deutsch, J.A. (1984). Caloric regulation in the rat: Evidence for a calibration mechanism. Physiology & Behavior , 32 , 883-886.

Spetch, M.L. & Treit, D. (1984). The effect of d_amphetamine on short-term memory for time in pigeons. Pharmacology, Biochemistry, and Behavior , 21 , 663-666.

Treit, D. & Spetch, M.L. (1984). Effect of gastric reduction surgery on consummatory behavior in the rat. Behavioral Neuroscience , 98 , 361-365.

Treit, D., Spetch, M.L. & Deutsch, J.A. (1983). Variety in the flavor of food enhances eating in the rat. Physiology & Behavior , 30 , 207-211.

Pinel, J.P.J., & Treit, D. (1983). The conditioned defensive burying paradigm and behavioral neuroscience. In: T. Robinson (Ed.). Behavioral approaches to brain research , New York , Oxford University Press, 212-234.

Treit, D., Pinel, J.P.J., & Fibiger, H. (1982). The inhibitory effect of diazepam on conditioned defensive burying is reversed by picrotoxin. Pharmacology, Biochemistry, and Behavior , 17 , 359-361.

Treit, D., & Spetch, M.L. (1982). Advances toward a biological theory of aversive conditioning: Flirtation or commitment? (Commentary) The Behavioral and Brain Sciences , 5 , 684-685.

Spetch, M.L., Terlecki, L.J., Pinel, J.P.J., Wilkie, D.M., & Treit, D. (1982). Excitatory backward conditioning of defensive burying in rats. Bulletin of the Psychonomic Society , 19 , 111-114.

Treit, D., Pinel, J.P.J., & Fibiger, H. (1981). Conditioned defensive burying: A new paradigm for the study of anxiolytic agents. Pharmacology, Biochemistry, and Behavior , 15 , 619-626.

Gray, D., Terlecki, L.J., Treit, D., & Pinel, J.P.J. (1981). Effect of septal lesions on conditioned defensive burying. Physiology and Behavior , 27 , 1051-1056.

Treit, D., Terlecki, L.J., & Pinel, J.P.J. (1980). Conditioned defensive burying in rodents: Organismic variables. Bulletin of the Psychonomic Society , 16 , 451-454.

Treit, D., Terlecki, L.J., & Pinel, J.P.J. (1980). Active avoidance deficits after long-term exposure to ethanol: Associative or nonassociative effects. Substance and Alcohol Actions/Misuse , 1 , 165-172.

Treit, D., Pinel, J.P.J., & Terlecki, L.J. (1980). Shock intensity and conditioned defensive burying in rats. Bulletin of the Psychonomic Society , 16 , 5-7.

Pinel, J.P.J., Treit, D., Ladak, F., & Maclennan, J. (1980). Conditioned defensive burying in rats free to escape. Animal Learning Behavior , 8 , 447-451.

Pinel, J.P.J., Treit, D., & Wilkie, D.M. (1980). Stimulus control of defensive burying in the rat. Learning and Motivation , 11 , 150-163.

Terlecki, L.J., Pinel, J.P.J., & Treit, D. (1979). Conditioned and unconditioned defensive burying in the rat. Learning and Motivation , 10 , 337-350.

Pinel, J.P.J. & Treit, D. (1979). Conditioned defensive burying in the rat: Availability of burying materials. Animal Learning & Behavior , 7 , 392-396.

Pinel, J.P.J. & Treit, D. (1978). Burying as a defensive response in rats. Journal of Comparative and Physiological Psychology , 92 , 708-712.

Pinel, J.P.J., Treit, D., & Wilkie, D.M. (1977). Constraints on avoidance learning: Burying an unfounded assumption. In: S. Revusky (Ed.), Biological Approaches to Learning .

Pinel, J.P.J., Treit, D., & Rovner, L.I. (1977). Temporal lobe aggression in rats. Science , 197 , 1088-1089.

Pinel, J.P.J., Burtch, D., & Treit, D. (1976). Disulfiram implantation: Modes of action. Canadian Psychiatric Association Journal , 21 , 221-222.