The University of Texas at Dallas School of Behavioral and Brain Sciences

Christa K. McIntyre Rodriguez

Associate Professor

Research Interests

The effect of stress on memory consolidation with the goal of identifying therapeutics for memory and anxiety disorders

Curriculum Vitae


Email: [email protected]
Phone: 972-883-2235
Office: BSB_14.510
Campus Mail Code: BSB 14
Website: Neurobiology of Memory Lab and Center for Advanced Pain Studies


Dr. Christa McIntyre is a leading researcher in the study of emotional modulation of memory storage. She investigates the physiological response to stress and its contribution to synaptic plasticity and memory. As part of this research, she found that stimulation of the vagus nerve promotes memory consolidation and synaptic plasticity while, at the same time, reducing anxiety. These findings suggest that vagus nerve stimulation may enhance the effects of treatments for anxiety disorders and posttraumatic stress disorders. Dr. McIntyre also uses behavioral pharmacology, optogenetics, and molecular approaches to study interactions of the amygdala, hippocampus and cortex during memory consolidation. Dr. McIntyre is a permanent member of the NIH biobehavioral regulation, learning and ethology study section and a review editor for the journal Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience. She was awarded the Aage Moller Teaching Award from the School of Behavioral and Brain Sciences, the Dissertation Fellowship at the University of Virginia, and the Roger Russell Award at the Center for the Neurobiology of Learning and Memory in Irvine, California. Dr. McIntyre earned her bachelor’s degree from American University and her PhD from the University of Virginia, Charlottesville.

Recent and Selected Representative Publications

Recent Articles in Peer-Refereed Journals

Peripheral effects of vagus nerve stimulation on anxiety and extinction of conditioned fear in rats. Noble LJ, Chuah A, Callahan KK, Souza RR, McIntyre CK. Learn Mem. 2019 Jun 17;26(7):245-251. doi: 10.1101/lm.048447.118. Print 2019 Jul. PMID: 31209119.

Noble LJ, Meruva VB, Hays SA, Rennaker RL, Kilgard MP, McIntyre CK. Vagus nerve stimulation promotes generalization of conditioned fear extinction and reduces anxiety in rats. Brain Stimulation (2019) doi:10:1016/j.brs.2018.09.013. PMID: 30287193.

Noble LJ, Souza RR, McIntyre CK. Vagus nerve stimulation as a tool for enhancing extinction in exposure-based therapies. Psychopharmacology (2018) doi: 10.1007/s00213-018-4994-5. PMID: 30091004.

McIntyre CK. Is there a role for vagus nerve stimulation in the treatment of posttraumatic stress disorder? Bioelectronics in Medicine (2018) doi:10.2217/bem-2019-0002.

Souza R, Noble L, and McIntyre CK. Using the Single Prolonged Stress Model to Examine the Pathophysiology of PTSD. Frontiers in Neuropharmacology (2017) doi: 10.3389.fphar.2017.00615 PMID: 28955225.

Noble L, Gonzalez I, Meruva V, Callahan K, Belfort B, Ramanathan K, Meyers E, Kilgard M, Rennaker R, and McIntyre CK. Effects of vagus nerve stimulation on extinction of conditioned fear and posttraumatic stress disorder symptoms in rats. Translational Psychiatry (2017) doi: 10.1038/tp.2017.191 PMID: 28892066.

View more of Christa McIntyre Rodriguez’s publications