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., Fomum-Mugri, L., McDowell, K.A., and Yarowsky, P.J. (2010, November).  Investigation of non-motor related behavioral and cognitive changes in an environmentally-induced model of parkinsonism. 

Poster presented at the Society for Neuroscience Annual Meeting, San Diego, CA.

Abstract 

Parkinson’s disease (PD) is a progressive and debilitating disease affecting approximately 1% of the population over the age of 65. Disease progression leads to a decrease in quality of life and substantial medical costs. Early detection of PD is vital for effective treatment. Research suggests patients later diagnosed with PD often present prior to the clinical PD diagnosis with changes in olfaction, depressed mood, decreases in attention, and impaired cognition. We investigated a variety of behavioral and cognitive changes in a progressive model of PD using washed cycad seed. Rats fed washed cycad seed flour slowly develop motor deficits similar to PD and display neurological injury in the substantia nigra (SN) evidenced by a loss of tyrosine hydroxylase immunoreactive neurons and the development of a-synuclein aggregates (Shen et al. in press). Rats had their diets supplemented with daily pellets composed of washed cycad seed flour (1.25g of cycad/rat/day) and were tested on a variety of behavioral measures before, during, and after cycad administration. During cycad administration, rats fed washed cycad seeds showed significant changes in olfactory processing (p < .05) and were significantly more active than control animals in an open field (p < .05). Following the end of cycad administration, rats were continually monitored for cognitive abilities. Compared to control animals, cycad-fed rats showed an increase in errors within an 8-arm radial arm maze; early impairment in latency to find the platform and impairment in time spent in the target quadrant in a water maze. Cycad-fed rats also showed an increase in trials to criterion in a set-shifting task when compared to control animals. The relationship between early hyperactive responses in the open field and later changes in cognitive ability will be discussed.