Tara J. Nyhuis

Learn More
Regular physical exercise is beneficial for both physical and mental health. By contrast, stress is associated with deleterious effects on health and there is growing evidence that regular physical exercise counteracts some of the effects of stress. However, most previous studies have suggested that prior exercise does not alter the acute hypothalamic(More)
This manuscript describes several behavioral and functional studies evaluating the capacity of ferret odors to elicit a number of acute and long-term responses in male Sprague-Dawley rats. Acute presentation elicits multiple responses, suggesting that ferret odor, likely from skin gland secretions, provides an anxiogenic-like stimulus in this strain of(More)
Exposures to predator odors are very effective methods to evoke a variety of stress responses in rodents. We have previously found that ferret odor exposure leads to changes in endocrine hormones (corticosterone and ACTH) and behavior. To distinguish the contributions of the main and accessory olfactory systems in these responses, studies were designed to(More)
Voluntary exercise is associated with the prevention and treatment of numerous physical and psychological illnesses, yet the mechanisms by which it confers this protection remain unclear. In contrast, stress, particularly under conditions of prolonged or repeated exposure when glucocorticoid levels are consistently elevated, can have a devastating impact on(More)
Stress often negatively impacts physical and mental health but it has been suggested that voluntary physical activity may benefit health by reducing some of the effects of stress. The present experiments tested whether voluntary exercise can reduce heart rate, core body temperature and locomotor activity responses to acute (novelty or loud noise) or(More)
We have shown previously that unconditioned stressors inhibit neurons of the lateral/capsular division of the central nucleus of the amygdala (CEAl/c) and oval division of the bed nucleus of the stria terminalis (BSTov), which form part of the central extended amygdala. The current study investigated whether conditioned fear inhibits c-fos mRNA expression(More)
Accumulating evidence indicates that regular physical exercise benefits health in part by counteracting some of the negative physiological impacts of stress. While some studies identified reductions in some measures of acute stress responses with prior exercise, limited data were available concerning effects on cardiovascular function, and reported effects(More)
Exposure to stress reliably activates the hypothalamo-pituitary-adrenocortical (HPA) axis response in rodents, which is significantly reduced (habituated) following repeated exposures. In the current study, it was first established that HPA axis response habituation to repeated loud noise lasted for at least 4 weeks in rats. In the next experiment, a(More)
Investigations of the neural pathways associated with responses to predators have implicated the medial amygdala (MeA) as an important region involved in defensive behaviors. To our knowledge, however, the involvement of the MeA in neuroendocrine responses to predator odor exposure has not been investigated. Therefore, the present study examined the effects(More)
Previous research has suggested that sensory areas may play a role in adaptation to repeated stress. The auditory cortex was the target of the present studies because it is a major projection area of the auditory thalamus, where functional inactivation disrupts stress habituation to repeated loud noise. Large bilateral excitotoxic lesions of the auditory(More)