Seminars & Events

Thursday, September 11, 2014: Dr. Bevil Conway (Wellesley College) will speak on his research in visual neuroscience and color at 4:30 pm in Goodpaster Hall 195.

Monday, October 27, 2014: Dr. Todd Gould (University of Maryland Baltimore) will speak on "Genes to behaviors to treatments in bipolar disorder" at 4:45 pm in Goodpaster Hall 195

Friday, December 5, 2014:  Dr. Brian Mathur (University of Maryland Baltimore) will speak on "Braking bad: Aberrant inhibitory neurotransmission in addiction" at 3:00 pm in Goodpaster Hall 195.

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Alumni Highlight

Check out Jordan Gaines Lewis '11's award-winning blog, Gaines on Brains. 

gainesonbrains.com

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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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Cammarata, E., Kallarackal, A.J., Cai, X., Thompson, S.M., and Bailey, A.M. (2011, November). Consolidation of spatial memory in the water maze is disrupted in animals exposed to chronic unpredictable stress (CUS).

Poster presented at the Society for Neuroscience Annual Meeting, Washington, DC.

Abstract 

Inappropriate and maladaptive responses to chronic stress are thought to trigger a number of psychiatric disorders whose biological basis remains unknown. We have recently discovered that serotonin mediates a potentiation of excitatory synapses formed by the axons of temporoammonic (TA) inputs with the distal dendrites of CA1 pyramidal cells. We have also found that this plasticity is qualitatively and quantitatively altered as a result of chronic stress. The temporoammonic (TA) pathway is known to be critical for consolidation of long-term spatial memory. In order to determine the functional correlates of this altered synaptic phenotype, we investigated the influence of chronic unpredictable stress (CUS) on consolidation of memory in a spatial water maze (WM) task. We first trained adult rats in a water maze spatial task and then tested their short-term retention of platform location. All animals showed a significant preference for the target quadrant. Rats were then separated into the CUS or control group. CUS animals were exposed to a standard chronic unpredictable stress protocol for three weeks. During CUS exposure, rats were tested in the novelty suppressed feeding task (NSF) and for sucrose preference (SP). CUS animals showed a decline in SP by week three (p = .10) and a significant increase in latency in the NSF task (p < 0.05), indicating induction of a depression-like behavioral state. One week after the end of CUS (four weeks after the end of water maze training), animals were again
tested in the water maze for retention of spatial information via a probe trial. CUS animals spent significantly less time it the target quadrant (p < 0.05) than controls, thus demonstrating a significant impairment in spatial memory. Additionally, time spent in the target quadrant was significantly negatively correlated with latency in the NSF task (p < 0.05) and positively correlated with SP (p = 0.07). Results presented here suggest that CUS significantly alters the TA pathway and impairs consolidation of spatial memory. It will now be of interest to determine the role of serotonin in this memory consolidation process.