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Steeped in statistical analysis: Neurobiology class conducts intensive research (pic)

November 25, 2012

The 12 students in Assistant Professor Katie Johnson’s neurobiology class will be well-versed in research by the end of the semester. But it’s not the research of others they’re investigating; instead, the mix of biology, health & society, psychology, biochemistry, and chemistry majors worked in small groups to conduct their own research and experiments, based on novel hypotheses.

There’s more to their research than initially meets the eye. The groups successfully applied for approval from either the Institutional Review Broad (if evaluating human subjects) or the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (if evaluating animals), then proceeded to spend an entire month conducting experiments and analyzing results. Their topics?

    • How Alzheimer's disease affects brain size (by analysis of a national data set)
  • The effects of caffeine or ethanol on anxiety (one group did ethanol, one group did caffeine - evaluated in zebrafish)
    • The effects of meditation on information recall
    • The effect of audio and/or visual distraction on information recall

Before Thanksgiving break, the students gave poster presentations on their research as an opportunity to garner feedback from fellow students and faculty—feedback that they’ll consider as they write their final research paper.

Below, Sarrah Knause’13 displays the poster she completed with Christina Mikulka’13 and Molly Schulting’15.

Sarrah Knause, research