Lace Marie Riggs


Circuit mechanisms underlying autism-related anxiogenesis


Guoping Feng, Ph.D. and Fan Wang, Ph.D.

Biographical Information:

Lace received her B.A. in Biological Psychology and M.A. in Experimental Psychology from California State University in San Bernardino, CA. In 2021, she earned her PhD in Neuroscience from the University of Maryland School of Medicine in Baltimore, MD. In Dr. Todd Gould’s lab, Lace discovered a cell-type specific cAMP-PKA-dependent form of presynaptic plasticity underlies the rapid antidepressant actions of ketamine metabolites.             

Current Work:

Psychiatric comorbidities in autism can further impair functional independence and may suggest a convergence in the neural substrates that underly these conditions. The current study will assess the role of a novel thalamocortico-corticothalamic circuit in cortical excitability that promotes anxiogenesis in a preclinical model of autism. Understanding the circuit basis of anxiety will improve our understanding of persistent synaptic changes in autism while also fostering the design of targeted treatments that can promote well-being and independence.

Key Words:

electrophysiology, circuit, endophenotype


Riggs LM, Aracava Y, Zanos P, Fischell J, Albuquerque EX, Pereira EFR, Thompson SM, Gould TD (2020). (2R,6R)-hydroxynorketamine rapidly potentiates hippocampal glutamatergic transmission through a synapse-specific presynaptic mechanism. Neuropsychopharmacology. doi: 10.1038/s41386-019-0443-3.

Riggs LM, Thompson SM, Gould TD (2022). (2R,6R)-hydroxynorketamine rapidly potentiates optically-evoked Schaffer collateral synaptic activity. Neuropharmacology. doi: 10.1016/j.neuropharm.2022.109153.

Riggs LM, Gould TD (2021) Ketamine and the future of rapid-acting antidepressants. Annu Rev Clin Psychol. doi: 10.1146/annurev-clinpsy-072120-014126.

Riggs LM, An X, Pereira EFR, Gould TD (2021). (R,S)-ketamine and (2R,6R)-hydroxynorketamine differentially affect memory as a function of dosing frequency. Transl Psychiatry. doi: 10.1038/s41398-021-01685-0.