Seminars & Events
Monday, February 11, 2013: Dr. Daphne Soares (University of Maryland College Park) will speak on "The Sensory World of Cavefishes" at 4:45 pm in Goodpaster Hall 195.
Monday, March 4, 2013: Dr. Joe Cheer (University of Maryland Baltimore) will speak on "Endogenous Cannabinoids and the Pursuit of Reward" at 4:45 pm in Goodpaster Hall 195.
Friday, April 12, 2013: Dr. Jill McGaughy (University of New Hampshire) will speak on "The Role of Cortical Norepinephrine in the Ontogeny of Executive Function" at 3:00 pm in Schaefer Hall 106.
Dr. Erin Johnson '02 recently received her Ph.D. in Neuroscience from the University of Rochester School of Medicine, and was inducted as an alumni member of Nu Rho Psi.
Ron Saul, "Chronic activation of the substantia nigra nociceptin/orphanin receptor induces motor deficits similar to Parkinson's disease," 2008. Saul, the 2008 winner of the Neuroscience Award, infused a drug into the substantia nigra of rats and measured the resulting motor behaviors, mood disturbances, and cognitive abilities.
Gibbons, Kaitlin (2010). Pressure mechanosensory neuron interactions and connections in the leeches Hirudo verbana and Macrobdella decora. Mentor: Dr. Michael Baltzley
The European medicinal leech Hirudo verbana has four mechanosensory pressure neurons (P cells) in each midbody ganglion. Within an isolated ganglion, P cells have complex mutually inhibitory connections. When one P cell is stimulated intracellularly, the other P cells have a weak depolarization followed by a strong hyperpolarization. This complex response appears to be mediated by a combination of electrical coupling, monosynaptic excitation and polysynaptic inhibition. I examined the P cell homologues in the American medicinal leech Macrobdella decora. I found that intracellular stimulation of one P cell causes a slight depolarization in the other P cells. Experiments performed in a high Mg2+, 0 Ca2+ saline and a high Mg2+, high Ca2+ saline suggest that the P cells in M. decora have an electrical coupling, a monosynaptic excitation and polysynaptic inhibition, similar to the connections between P cells in H. verbana. Therefore, the difference in net response between these two species seems to be based on differences in the strengths of the electrical and chemical connections. I also tested the connections between P cells in both M. decora and H. verbana in normal leech saline with bicuculline, a GABA-antagonist. Our preliminary results show that the polysynaptic inhibition was eliminated in both species, suggesting that the inhibition is due to GABA-mediated Cl- channels.