Seminars & Events

Friday, October 4, 2013: Dr. Laurie Ryan, SMCM '86 (National Institute on Aging) will speak on "Alzheimer's Disease: Targets and Treatments" at 3:00 pm in Goodpaster Hall 195.

Monday, October 21, 2013: Dr. Greg Elmer (University of Maryland Baltimore) will speak on "Domains and Constructs in Motivation: Where Does the Habenula Fit In?" at 4:45 pm in Goodpaster Hall 195

Friday, October 25, 2013:  Dr. Terry Davidson (American University) will speak on "Why We Overeat and Become Obese?  It Could be What We Think!" at 3:00 pm in Goodpaster Hall 195.

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Alumni Highlight

Dr. Gwen Calhoon '06 recently received her Ph.D. in Neuroscience from the University of Maryland Baltimore, and was inducted into Nu Rho Psi.

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SMP Spotlight

Katie Gluskin and Jeff Haus present their SMP
Katie Gluskin and Jeff Haus, "Entorhinal Cortex Lesions, Habituation, and Latent Inhibition," 2013. Gluskin and Haus, the 2013 co-winners of the Neuroscience Award, infused a neurotoxin into the entorhinal cortex of rats to induce a lesion, and measured the resulting habituation and latent inhibition behavior within a fear conditioning paradigm.

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Rees, Steven (2012).  Ethanol influence modeling : investigation and experimentation. (Mentor: J. Ramcharitar)

Abstract 

Ethanol, the psychoactive depressant ingredient of alcoholic beverages, has been found to influence various aspects of cognition, interfering with the human mind’s ability to interpret external and internal cues. This leads to various cognitive impairments, in turn causing problems with vision, verbal fluency, primary process thinking, and a variety of other factors. Understanding more about ethanol’s effects on the body would be valuable from healthcare and economic standpoints, yet elucidating ethanol’s mechanisms of action is difficult due to complexity of the human body and ethanol’s variable effects on different individuals. To better understand ethanol’s modes of action in body systems, a variety of animal models, including vertebrates and invertebrates, have been used. As more complex organisms, vertebrates represent a close bridge to human systems, allowing reactions to ethanol to be more translatable to human observation. But, even these systems can be too complex to fundamentally understand, lending value to well-documented and studied invertebrate systems even without direct application to human study. The medicinal leech Hirudo verbana shows strong promise as an ethanol influence model candidate. This paper explores various animal models, and shows through some initial experiments how leech nervous systems have much to show about ethanol’s mechanism of action.