Tag Archive for Neuroscience

Aaron, Naegele, Briggs, Walker, Asik Published in Epilepsia Journal


The March 2011 cover of Epilepsia.


Faculty, alumni and students from the Biology Department and Neuroscience and Behavior Department have an article titled “STEP regulation of seizure thresholds in the hippocampus,” published in Epilepsia, Volume 52, Issue 3, March 2011. Epilepsia is the journal of the International League Against Epilepsy.

The paper’s co-authors include Gloster Aaron assistant professor of biology, assistant professor of neuroscience and behavior; Janice Naegele, professor of biology, professor of neuroscience and behavior; Stephen Briggs BA ’07, MA ’08, Jeffrey Walker BA ’08, MA ’09, and biology Ph.D. candidate Kemal Asik. Paul Lombroso, a professor at Yale University, contributed to the report.

This study found that mice lacking a specific enzyme (STEP) have a significantly heightened resistance to developing epileptic seizures. The study then documents a mechanism and location in the brain where this enzyme might have its effect in regulating the seizure thresholds. Briggs and Walker were BA/MA students in the NS&B program, and they worked in the labs of Naegele and Aaron, respectively. Asik works with John Kirn, chair of the Neuroscience and Behavior Department.

Naegele, Students Attend “Mysterious Brain” Forum

Janice Naegele, professor of biology, professor of neurosceince and behavior, and a group of Wesleyan students attended the Connecticut Forum on “The Glorius, Mysterious Brain” Feb. 25 at the Bushnell Theater in Hartford, Conn. The Connecticut Forum is a nationally recognized, nonprofit organization that offers live, unscripted panel discussions among renowned experts and celebrities, and community outreach programs. Nagele’s group listened to Autism advocate Temple Grandin, author and Harvard professor Steven Pinker and cognitive scientist Paul Bloom.

In addition, Michael Greenberg ’76, chair of neurobiology at Harvard Medical School, spoke to Naegele’s students about “experience-dependent changes in gene expression.”

Kurtz Published in Neuropsychology Encyclopedia

Matthew Kurtz, associate professor of psychology, associate professor of neuroscience and behavior, is the author of “Treatment approaches with a special focus on neurocognition: overview and empirical results,” published in Understanding and Treating Neuro- and Social-Cognition in Schizophrenia Patients, in 2010 and “Compensatory Strategies; Insight: Effects on Rehabilitation; Rivermead Behavioral Memory Test,” published in Encyclopedia of Clinical Neuropsychology, New York: Springer, 2010.

Seamon Authors Study on Memorization

John Seamon, professor of psychology, professor of neuroscience and behavior, is the author of “Memorizing Milton’s Paradise Lost: A study of a septuagenarian exceptional memorizer,” published in Memory, 2010.

NIMH Supports Naegele’s Cellular Analysis Study

Jan Naegele, professor of biology, professor of neuroscience and behavior, received a $100,000 from the National Institute of Mental Health for her research on “Molecular and Cellular Analysis of Brand-Enriched PTPs.” The grant will be awarded through March 2010. This is a renewal of a previous grant, which is subcontracted with Yale University.

Honors Thesis by Tolman ’10 Published in Schizophrenia Bulletin

Arielle Tolman ’10 presents her honors thesis to Wesleyan President Michael Roth. Her findings were recently accepted for publication in Schizophrenia Bulletin.

Quality-of-life for patients with Schizophrenia has been recognized as a crucial domain of outcome in schizophrenia treatment, and yet its determinants are not well understood.

Arielle Tolman ’10, who studied “Neurocognitive Predictors of Objective and Subjective Quality-of-Life in Individuals with Schizophrenia: A Meta-Analytic Investigation” as her senior honors thesis, will have the opportunity to share her research with other scientists interested in schizophrenia. This month, the editors of  Schizophrenia Bulletin accepted Tolman’s paper for publication in an upcoming edition.

“This is a real achievement, particularly at the undergraduate level,” says the paper’s co-author and Tolman’s advisor Matthew Kurtz, assistant professor of psychology.

Although other researchers have demonstrated that “quality-of-life” is not a uniform construct, Tolman conducted the first meta-analytic study

Grabel, Naegele Published in Regenerative Medicine Publication

Laura Grabel, the Lauren B. Dachs Professor of Science and Society, professor of biology, and Jan Naegele, professor of neuroscience and behavior, professor of biology, are the co-authors of “Migration of transplanted neural stem cells in experimental models of neurodegenerative diseases,” published in Stem Cells and Regenerative Medicine by Springer/Humana Press, 2010.

Bodznick Published in Zoology, Biology Journals

David Bodznick, dean of Natural Sciences and Mathematics, professor of biology and professor of neuroscience and behavior, is the co-author of “Functional origins of the vertebrate cerebellum from a sensory processing antecedent,” published in Current Zoology 56 (3): 277-284, 2010 and “The Importance of N-methyl d-aspartate (NMDA) receptors in subtraction of electrosensory reafference in the dorsal nucleus of skates,” published in the Journal of Experimental Biology, 2010.

Naegele’s Articles in Epilepsy, Stem Cell Publications

Janice Naegele, professor of biology, professor of neuroscience and behavior, is the co-author of “Gene and stem cell therapies for treating epilepsy,” published in Epilepsy: Mechanisms, Models, and Translational Perspectives, Dekker M, Inc., 2010; “Migration of transplanted neural stem cells in models of neurodegenerative diseases,” published in  Stem Cells and Regenerative Medicine by Springer Science (Humana Press, 2010; “Westward Ho! Pioneering mouse models for X-linked infantile spasms syndrome,” published in Epilepsy Currents 10(1): 1-4, 2010; “Trekking through the telencephalon: hepatocyte growth factor-mediated guidance for parvalbumin-expressing interneurons,” published in Epilepsy Currents 10(4), 2010; and “Transplants for brain repair in epilepsy and neurodegenerative diseases,” published in Neuropharmacology 58: 855-864, 2010.

Barth Receives NSF Grant for Cognition Research

Hilary Barth, assistant professor of psychology, assistant professor of neuroscience and behavior, will be conducting a series of studies with children and adults in the Cognitive Development Laboratory at Wesleyan to investigate abstract and perceptual magnitude biases.

Hilary Barth, assistant professor of psychology, was recently awarded a five-year, $761,000 grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to study “magnitude biases in mathematical cognition, learning, and development.” Barth will be conducting a series of studies with children and adults in the Cognitive Development Laboratory at Wesleyan to investigate abstract and perceptual magnitude biases.

The grant, which begins this year, comes from the NSF’s Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) program. The program is only available to non-tenured faculty. Barth’s colleague Anna Shusterman was awarded a CAREER grant in 2009.

“The psychology department is thrilled about Professor Barth’s accomplishment,” says Lisa Dierker, chair and professor of psychology.