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.
Coster, Jenalee (2008). The Effects of Voluntary Exercise on Acquisition of an Olfactory Learning Set in Long-Evans Rats with Lesions to the Nucleus Basalis Magnocellularis. Mentor: Dr. Aileen Bailey
The current study examines the effect of exercise on lesions to the nucleus basalis magnocellularis (nBM) on acquisition of olfactory discrimination learning set (ODLS). Exercise animals were given free access to a running wheel five days following surgery. Animals did not differ on pre- to post-surgical measurements of activity level in an open field, nor did animals differ in percentage of time spent on a novel object during a novel object recognition task to assess working memory. Therefore, there were no deficits in activity or working memory among the animals that would impair acquisition of ODLS. Sedentary and exercise sham animals and SAP exercise animals performed significantly above chance on trial 2 indicating learning set acquisition. SAP sedentary animals did not perform above chance on trial 2 indicating that they were unable to acquire a learning set; however, on trials 3-5 they were able to perform significantly above chance indicating olfactory abilities were intact Furthermore on block 1, sham exercise and SAP exercise performed significantly above chance. Exercise enabled animals to form a learning set more quickly compared to sedentary animals. In conclusion, SAP lesions to the nBM impaired acquisition of ODLS, but those deficits can be overcome with voluntary exercise. Histology still needs to be completed to ensure lesion placement and acetylcholinesterase levels in the nBM and cortex. Although, more animals need to be added and the results replicated, there is a strong trend that shows exercise is important to counteract cognitive deficits caused by lesions to the nBM.