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.

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Alumni Highlight

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

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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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Whitt, Josh (2009).  The Effects of Prenatal Antipschotic Exposure on Neuronal Expression of Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor.  Mentor: Dr. Aileen Bailey

Abstract 

Dopaminergic neurotransmission has been found to be extremely important in sculpting the developing nervous system and any possible antagonism may have profound sequelae.  Previous research suggests that typical, or first-generation, antipsychotic drugs exert their therapeutic effect through antagonism of dopamine neurotransmission and chronic antipsychotic exposure has also been correlated with decreased levels of brain-derived neurotrophic factor in the adult nervous system.  Antipsychotic drugs have also been found to be secreted in breast milk as well as being able to cross the placental barrier.   The differences in brain-derived neurotrophic factor mRNA levels in the hippocampal and prefrontal cortical regions among rats neonatally exposed to haloperidol, a typical antipsychotic, compared to two controls, vehicle injection or handling alone, were examined utilizing a radioactive in situ hybridization technique.  No significant difference was found in expression among the different groups in with the hippocampal or prefrontal regions of the cortex.  Because BDNF has been implicated as an activity-dependent protein, it is possible that no differences in expression were witnessed due to the fact that neonatal rats, after being injected for a short period, were allowed to grow undisrupted into adulthood without any need for BDNF upregulation.  Future studies should aim to elucidate the possible effects of antipsychotic drugs on this activity-dependent modulation of BDNF and to determine if any behavioral sequelae exist.