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.
Placek, Katerina (2012). Prenatal fluoxetine exposure : mitigation of affective behavioral deficits through neonatal tactile stimulation. (Mentor: A. Bailey)
Fluoxetine (Prozac) is the most frequently prescribed drug for the treatment of depression in pregnant women, but its long-term neurodevelopmental effects on offspring have not yet been established. In rats, prenatal fluoxetine exposure is linked with emotional-behavioral deficits in adulthood and lasting neuroanatomical changes, presumably resulting from the unnatural saturation of the developing brain and nervous system with serotonin. A form of environmental enrichment, tactile stimulation may improve neurodevelopmental outcome in neonatal populations following early-life cortical assault. The present study investigated the novel usage of neonatal tactile stimulation as an intervention in rats prenatally exposed to fluoxetine, examining potential effects of the intervention on behavioral measures of rodent emotionality (open field test, elevated plus maze, forced swim test) and on Golgi-Cox-identified dendritic spine density and length. While Golgi-Cox analysis of histological data is not yet complete, behavioral results denote novel evidence for a) the therapeutic potential of tactile enrichment on anxiety-like behaviors, and b) the differential effects of drug exposure and/or environmental enrichment on behavioral outcome based on sex. Future work on this project will focus on utilizing neurobiological Golgi-Cox data to find a correlation with or causal inference to behavioral data, in the hopes of elucidating the mechanisms by which tactile stimulation confers beneficial outcomes for the comprised neurodevelopment of offspring.