How Stress Affects Rat Brains and Behavior

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Adam Lannon Evelin Cotella


By Adam Lannon, Neuroscience

Advisor: Evelin Cotella

Presentation ID: PM_A14

Abstract: Adolescence is a time of expansive development in the brain and as a result, environmental stimuli can have lasting effects on cognitive functionality. It had been hypothesized that stress during cognitive development negatively affects behavioral and physiological responses in later ages, but our lab has found evidence to argue that the opposite is true. We have found that male rats subjected to chronic variable stress (CVS) during adolescence do not show dysregulation of the hypothalamus pituitary adrenal (HPA) axis in the same way as animals that were subjected to stress as adults. Hence, we hypothesized that CVS effects on a contextual fear conditioning paradigm are age-dependent, and rats that are subjected to stress during adolescence are comparitively resilient to stress effects in relation to adults.

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