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.
Songrady, Judy (2009). Environmental Enrichment vs. Cognitive Enrichment in Aged Rats: Effects on Cognition and Hippocampal Neurogenesis. Mentor: Dr. Aileen Bailey.
Age related deficits in spatial memory have been demonstrated in both humans and other animals. Research shows a negative correlation between the increase in age related deficits and a decline in the number of newly generated neurons in the hippocampus as animals age. However aged rodents following enrichment show fewer deficits in spatial tasks, and increased reference memory function (cognition). Environmental enrichment (EE) and cognitive enrichment (CE) have been found to enhance behavioral performance in future cognitive based tasks, such as the Morris Water Maze (MWM), and increase neurogenesis in hippocampus. Previous work had not yet directly compared animals that have undergone different forms of enrichment and examined possible differences in plasticity or cognition. The current study examines neurogenesis and performance on novel cognitive tasks, MWM and Novel Object Recognition, in aged rats after receiving either cognitive (set-shifting task) or environmental enrichment. It was hypothesized that the enriched groups would show an increase of working memory and cognition when compared to the control group. Results suggest a possibility that CE does not affect cognition and memory equivalently. Specifically results demonstrate an increase in spatial cognition, but not in working memory following CE. Surprisingly subjects following EE did not show an improvement in working memory or cognition function in comparison to the control animals.