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.
Miller, Emily (2012). Effects of cocaine on behavior in the NVHL model of schizophrenia. (Mentor: A.M. Brady)
Elevated rates of substance abuse disorders have been observed in the schizophrenic population as compared to the general population. Two hypotheses, the self-medication hypothesis and the similar neurobiology hypothesis, have been proposed to explain this difference. Studies have shown that the drugs schizophrenic patients report using do not correlate with the symptoms they exhibit (Volkow, 2009) and that the onset of drug abuse often occurs before the onset of schizophrenia (Hambrecht & Hafner, 1996; Levander, Eberhard, & Lindstrom, 2007). Similar neurobiology would result in persons with schizophrenia having enhanced vulnerability to drug addiction (Chambers, Krystal, & Self, 2001). This study aimed to examine behavior in the NVHL model of schizophrenia during the withdrawal period following self-administration of cocaine in order to elucidate the short-term and long-term effects of cocaine on behavior in the NVHL model. If the deficits associated with this model were ameliorated by exposure to cocaine, this would have provided support for the self-medication hypothesis. However, while we were able to replicate the deficits in pre-pulse inhibition and decreased social interaction characteristic of the NVHL model, we did not observe any improvements in these deficits following exposure to cocaine. The lack of behavioral changes in NVHL animals after cocaine exposure suggests that drug abuse in patients with schizophrenia may not be an attempt to relieve their symptoms, but rather an additional symptom of schizophrenia.