Rachel D. Penrod

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The microtubule-associated protein tau accumulates in Alzheimer's and other fatal dementias, which manifest when forebrain neurons die. Recent advances in understanding these disorders indicate that brain dysfunction precedes neurodegeneration, but the role of tau is unclear. Here, we show that early tau-related deficits develop not from the loss of(More)
In rats, the pharmacological (interoceptive) effects of nicotine can serve as a signal (conditional stimulus) in a Pavlovian (classical) conditioning task. In this task, nicotine administration (0.4 mg base/kg, subcutaneous) is typically paired with intermittent access to a liquid sucrose unconditional stimulus; sucrose is withheld on saline sessions. An(More)
Dendritic spines of striatal Medium Spiny Neurons (MSNs) receive converging dopaminergic and glutamatergic inputs. These spines undergo experience-dependent structural plasticity following repeated drug administration and during disease states like Huntington's and Parkinson's. Thus, understanding the molecular mechanisms leading to structural plasticity is(More)
Past research has shown that when rats received 0.4mg base/kg nicotine paired reliably with intermittent sucrose delivery that anticipatory sucrose-seeking behavior (i.e., goal tracking) was differentially displayed in the nicotine state relative to intermixed saline sessions in which no sucrose was delivered. The present research extended this observation(More)
Previous studies have shown that the interoceptive nicotine conditional stimulus (CS) functions similarly to exteroceptive CSs such as lights or environments. For instance, the appetitive conditioned response (CR) evoked when nicotine is repeatedly paired with sucrose presentations (the unconditioned stimulus; US) is sensitive to changes in training dose(More)
Nicotine functions as a negative feature in a Pavlovian discriminated goal-tracking task. Whether withholding of responding to the conditional stimulus (CS) reflects nicotine functioning as a conditioned inhibitor is unknown. Accordingly, the present research sought to determine whether nicotine trained as a negative feature passed the(More)
Persistent paranoid symptoms are best understood as having multiple causal mechanisms. An enhanced multidimensional understanding of paranoia may result from the convergence of two distinct measurement paradigms, experimental psychopathology and social cognitive research. This study investigated the role of neurocognitive deficits and emotion misperception(More)
Adeno-associated viruses and the herpes simplex virus are the two most widely used vectors for the in vivo expression of exogenous genes. Advances in the development of these vectors have enabled remarkable temporal and spatial control of gene expression. This unit provides methods for storing, delivering, and verifying expression of adeno-associated and(More)
It is thought that rewarding experiences with drugs create strong contextual associations and encourage repeated intake. In turn, repeated exposures to drugs of abuse make lasting alterations in the brain function of vulnerable individuals, and these persistent alterations likely serve to maintain the maladaptive drug seeking and taking behaviors(More)
Medium spiny neurons (MSNs) are the major striatal neuron and receive synaptic input from both glutamatergic and dopaminergic afferents. These synapses are made on MSN dendritic spines, which undergo density and morphology changes in association with numerous disease and experience-dependent states. Despite wide interest in the structure and function of(More)