David A Townsend

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The hippocampal formation generates new neurons throughout adulthood. Recent studies indicate that these cells possess the morphology and physiological properties of more established neurons. However, the function of adult generated neurons is still a matter of debate. We previously demonstrated that certain forms of associative learning can enhance the(More)
Up to 50% of an individuals' performance across a wide variety of distinct cognitive tests can be accounted for by a single factor (i.e., "general intelligence"). Despite its ubiquity, the processes or mechanisms regulating this factor are a matter of considerable debate. Although it has been hypothesized that working memory may impact cognitive performance(More)
A defining characteristic of age-related cognitive decline is a deficit in general cognitive performance. Here we use a testing and analysis regimen that allows us to characterize the general learning abilities of young (3-5 mo old) and aged (19-21 mo old) male and female Balb/C mice. Animals' performance was assessed on a battery of seven diverse learning(More)
Across multiple learning tasks (that place different sensory, motor, and information processing demands on the animals), we have found that the performance of mice is commonly regulated by a single factor ("general learning") that accounts for 30-40% of the variance across individuals and tasks. Furthermore, individuals' general learning abilities were(More)
Cell adhesion molecules, such as neuronal cell adhesion molecule (Nr-CAM), mediate cell-cell interactions in both the developing and mature nervous system. Neuronal cell adhesion molecule is believed to play a critical role in cell adhesion and migration, axonal growth, guidance, target recognition and synapse formation. Here, wild-type, heterozygous and(More)
PEA-15 is a phosphoprotein that binds and regulates ERK MAP kinase and RSK2 and is highly expressed throughout the brain. PEA-15 alters c-Fos and CREB-mediated transcription as a result of these interactions. To determine if PEA-15 contributes to the function of the nervous system we tested mice lacking PEA-15 in a series of experiments designed to measure(More)
It has previously been reported that general learning ability (GLA) correlates positively with exploratory tendencies in individual outbred mice. This finding suggests the possibility that variations in stress reactivity modulate GLA and thus its relationship to exploratory tendencies. Here, the authors investigated the potential role of stress reactivity(More)
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