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.
Saul, R.D., Wiest, M.K., & Brady, A.M. (2006, April). Effect of a neonatal ventral hippocampal lesion on working memory in rats. Poster session presented at the Symposium for Young Neuroscientists and Professors of the Southeast (SYNAPSE), Davidson, NC.
Patients with schizophrenia have deficits in spatial working memory, a function dependent on the hippocampus and its target structures. Post-mortem analyses of schizophrenic brains have shown pyramidal cell disarray in the hippocampus. We used the neonatal ventral hippocampal lesion (NVHL) rat model of schizophrenia to determine if spatial working memory is disrupted in two radial arm maze tasks. In the non-delayed random foraging (NDRF) task, rats were required to forage for sucrose pellets in 4 arms of the 8-arm maze without re-entering any arms. In the spatial delayed win-shift (SDWSh) task, rats were first given a training trial in which 4 arms were baited and 4 were blocked. In the test trial, rats were required to enter only the 4 previously blocked arms, after either a 5 or 30 min delay. Rats were also tested for prepulse inhibition (PPI) of the acoustic startle response. Lesioned and sham-treated rats acquired the NDRF task in the same number of days, and did not differ on any behavioral measures on this task. However, lesioned rats took longer than sham rats to acquire the SDWSh task, as measured by days to criterion performance, at both the 5 min and the 30 min delay. Lesioned rats also exhibited a deficit in PPI, indicating impaired sensorimotor gating. These results suggest that the NVHL model reproduces some of the working memory and sensorimotor gating abnormalities observed in patients with schizophrenia. However, spatial navigation impairments are limited to task conditions which place higher demands on working memory.
View the poster (pdf format, 422KB)