February 15, 2021
Mary Cain to present Anatomy and Physiology Seminar
Mary E. Cain, professor in the psychological sciences department and the Center for Cognitive and Neurobiological Approaches to Plasticity Center at K-State, will present "The Effects of Differential Rearing in Rats on the Response to Rewards" at the next Anatomy and Physiology Seminar at 4 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 16, via Zoom.
Cain's research examines the neurobiological basis of drug use using a rodent model. She examines the neural structures that contribute to reward sensitivity in rats. Rats who are more responsive to novel stimuli or who are raised in an isolated environment are more sensitive to drug and non-drug rewards. Conversely, rats who are less responsive to novel stimuli or who are raised in an enriched environment are less sensitive to drug and non-drug rewards. She uses locomotor activity, self-administration, brain microinfusions, western blots and a variety of behavioral measures to determine the brain areas that may contribute to the differential response to rewards.
Her research is attempting to determine the neuronal mechanisms that contribute to drug-taking behavior to develop methods to decrease drug use using both behavioral and neurobiological techniques.