Advisor: Dr. Mary Cain
Description of Research
It wasn’t until my last year at the University of Kentucky when I got the chance to take classes in behavioral neuroscience and psychopharmacology when I finally realized the career I wanted to pursue. Generally speaking, my primary research interests involve drugs of abuse and how they affect behavior. I find it interesting how minute chemical substances can either beneficially or detrimentally impact people’s lives. My early research experience here at Kansas State has focused on amphetamine-induced hyperactivity and sensitization, and how the rewarding effects of amphetamine can be attenuated through glutamatergic alterations and the implementation of environmental enrichment. More recently, my interests have shifted towards the potential antidepressant-like effect of environmental enrichment. In the near future, I will examine the neurotransmitter serotonin (5-HT), which has been highly implicated in depression and other major mood disorders. More specifically speaking, I will examine the 5-HT2A receptor, which is modulated by the administration of many hallucinogenic drugs. Therefore, I want to investigate how the combination of environmental enrichment and 5-HT2A receptor activation or deactivation can increase or decrease the expression of depressive-like states. In doing so, these experiments will enable us to determine if environmental enrichment and 5-HT2A alteration can synergistically interact to alleviate debilitating mood disorders.
Arndt, D., Arnold, J., Cain, M. (submitted 2013). Attenuation of amphetamine-induced hyperactivity and sensitization through glutamatergic alterations in enriched rats.
Arndt, D., Arnold, J., Cain, M. (2012). Attenuation of amphetamine-induced hyperactivity and sensitization through glutamatergic alterations in enriched rats. Poster presented at the Society for Neuroscience Annual Meeting, New Orleans, LA.
Teaching Experiences (Graduate Teaching Assistant):
Kansas State University
Fall 2011-Present: Experimental Credits Coordinator for Sona Systems
PSYCH 100 – Freshman Seminar
PSYCH 200 – Junior Seminar
PSYCH 202 – Drugs and Behavior
PSYCH 470 – Psychobiology
PSYCH 475 – Principles of Learning
University of Kentucky, B.S. in Psychology – May 2010