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