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