We are interested in understanding the neural systems underlying motivated behaviors. We use rodent models to ask questions about the roles of specific neurochemicals and specific neural pathways in the expression of behaviors like social play, social interaction-seeking, and food-seeking. In addition, we are interested in whether these behaviors, and the neural systems that regulate them, are similar between the sexes, across the lifespan, and between species.
We are dedicated to providing research opportunities to undergraduate students, and are always looking for enthusiastic and motivated undergraduate students who are interested in behavioral neuroscience to join us. However, our research requires extensive hands-on training and a high level of commitment, which limits the total number of undergraduate students that we can accommodate at any particular time.
Undergraduate students working in the lab will have the opportunity to gain hands-on training in:
Rodent handling, behavioral testing, and behavioral video analysis.
Basic wet bench laboratory skills such as solution preparation and pipetting.
Histological techniques including cutting, staining, and mounting rodent brain tissue.
Microscopy and image analysis.
Interested students are highly encouraged to read the article linked below for background on likely research questions and research methods. However, other projects based on available equipment and materials are also possible.
Reppucci, C. J., Gergely, C. K., Bredewold, R., & Veenema, A. H. (2020). Involvement of orexin/hypocretin in the expression of social play behaviour in juvenile rats. International Journal of Play. 9(1):108-127. doi: 10.1080/21594937.2020.1720132 [pdf]
Interested in joining? Please fill out this form.