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.
Heiland, C.T., Hernandez, A.E., and Brady, A.M. (2009, October). An investigation of sex differences in behavior in the neonatal ventral hippocampal lesion rat model of schizophrenia. Poster presented at the Society for Neuroscience Annual Meeting, Chicago, IL.
Patients with schizophrenia exhibit significant sex differences in the onset, symptomatology, treatment and prognosis of the disorder. Males typically have an earlier onset, more severe negative symptoms and cognitive deficits, less responsiveness to antipsychotic drugs, and a poorer prognosis. The present study compared female and male rats in the neonatal ventral hippocampal lesion (NVHL) model of schizophrenia. Rats received bilateral infusions of ibotenic acid (10 µg/µl; 0.3 µl; NVHL group) or artificial CSF (0.3 µl; sham group) into the ventral hippocampus at postnatal day (PD) 7. As adults (PD 56 or older), all animals completed three measures of behavior: prepulse inhibition (PPI), novelty-induced locomotion, and social interaction. Females were tested during proestrus and/or estrus phases of the estrous cycle, as determined by daily examination of vaginal cytology. PPI of the startle response was measured in acoustic startle chambers. As previously demonstrated, NVHL males (n = 8) showed a significant reduction in PPI compared to sham males (n = 6; p = .004). However, this impairment was not observed in females; NVHL females (n = 8) exhibited similar levels of PPI as sham females (n = 6; p = .389). To measure locomotion in a novel (stressful) environment, all animals were placed in automated activity chambers for 30 min and total ambulatory counts (beam breaks) were recorded. All animals decreased ambulation across time (p < .001), but there were no clear sex differences or effects of the NVHL. To measure social interaction, animals were paired with unfamiliar same-sex partners (at the same stage of the estrous cycle, for females) and were placed into the open field for 10 min. Social and nonsocial behaviors for each rat were scored from the videotaped interactions. Females engaged in more total social and nonsocial behavior than males (p = .003), and sham animals exhibited higher social and nonsocial behaviors than NVHL animals (p < .001). However, no interaction between sex and lesion was revealed. Together, these findings suggest that the NVHL manipulation can at least partially model the sex differences observed in the clinical manifestation of schizophrenia, particularly the more severe disruption of PPI in males.