Marian Mersmann


Education: Bachelor of Science in psychology (August 2013)

McNair Project: Amphetamine-Induced c-fos Expression in High and Low Responder Rats: Differential Involvement of the NAcc and mPFC (2012)

Mentor: Mary Cain, Ph.D.

While it is well established that the response to novelty predicts sensitivity to low unit doses of amphetamine, the underlying neurobiological mechanisms remain unclear. Previous research has focused on the expression of dopamine within the mesolimbic pathway. To gain a more broad understanding of the activity within this circuit, the current study examined acute amphetamine-induced c-fos expression in rats previously screened for their response to novelty. Analyses revealed a significant interaction between treatment and novelty preference but only in the nucleus accumbens (NAcc). HR rats showed increased amphetamine-induced c-fos expression compared to LR rats in the NAcc but not in the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC), supporting regional specificity in the response to amphetamine in HR and LR rats.

McNair Project: Environmental Enrichment and Pavlovian Conditioned Fear: A Role for pCRED (2013)

Mentor: Mary Cain, Ph.D.