Seminars & Events

Friday, October 4, 2013: Dr. Laurie Ryan, SMCM '86 (National Institute on Aging) will speak on "Alzheimer's Disease: Targets and Treatments" at 3:00 pm in Goodpaster Hall 195.

Monday, October 21, 2013: Dr. Greg Elmer (University of Maryland Baltimore) will speak on "Domains and Constructs in Motivation: Where Does the Habenula Fit In?" at 4:45 pm in Goodpaster Hall 195

Friday, October 25, 2013:  Dr. Terry Davidson (American University) will speak on "Why We Overeat and Become Obese?  It Could be What We Think!" at 3:00 pm in Goodpaster Hall 195.

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Alumni Highlight

Dr. Gwen Calhoon '06 recently received her Ph.D. in Neuroscience from the University of Maryland Baltimore, and was inducted into Nu Rho Psi.

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SMP Spotlight

Katie Gluskin and Jeff Haus present their SMP
Katie Gluskin and Jeff Haus, "Entorhinal Cortex Lesions, Habituation, and Latent Inhibition," 2013. Gluskin and Haus, the 2013 co-winners of the Neuroscience Award, infused a neurotoxin into the entorhinal cortex of rats to induce a lesion, and measured the resulting habituation and latent inhibition behavior within a fear conditioning paradigm.

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Bailey, A. M., Kallarackal, A. J., Chen, M. , & Simard, J. M. (2006, October). Apamin significantly improves spatial cognition in a mouse model of Neurofibromatosis 1. Poster session to be presented at the Society for Neuroscience Annual Meeting, Atlanta, GA.

Abstract

Neurofibromatosis 1 (NF1) is a common genetic disorder known to cause a variety of physiological symptoms and is associated with visuospatial learning impairments.  Investigations with a mouse model of neurofibromatosis 1 (Nf1) have previously found impaired long-term potentiation, a significant up-regulation of small conductance calcium activated potassium type 1 (SK1) channels, and impaired spatial learning in a water maze.  We investigated possible involvement of SK1 channels in spatial learning deficits in Nf1+/- mice by administering apamin, a potent SK channel blocker, and examining performance in a water maze.  Forty-four Nf1+/- mice and 41 C57BL6 (wild type, WT) mice were administered either 0.2 mg/kg apamin, 0.4 mg/kg apamin, or physiological saline through i.p. injection or micro-osmotic pumps.  All mice were given 24 spatial training trials over 6 days with probe tests conducted immediately following the 4th, 12th, 20th, and 24th trials. Immediately following the final probe test, mice were given a visual test in the water maze. There were no differences between Nf1+/- and WT mice in the visual test.  Nf1+/- mice treated with saline were significantly impaired in the water maze in comparison to WT mice.  Both 0.2 mg/kg and 0.4 mg/kg of apamin significantly improved water maze performance in the Nf1+/- mice on the third day of training and on the corresponding probe test.  The results indicate a significant improvement in spatial cognition following apamin treatment in Nf1+/- mice and a potential direction for future research regarding the learning deficits seen in NF1.