Amanda Crocker

Assistant Professor of Neuroscience

 
 work(802) 443-3638
 On Leave academic year 19/20
 on leave academic year

Amanda Crocker is an Assistant Professor of Neuroscience at Middlebury College. She arrived at Middlebury in 2015 after working as a post-doctoral fellow at Princeton University in Dr. Mala Murthy’s Lab. Amanda received her Ph.D from the University of Pennsylvania under the guidance of Dr. Amita Sehgal. Amanda received both a B.S. in Neuroscience and a B.A. in Psychology from Brandeis University.

The Crocker Lab focuses on understanding the molecular underpinnings of complex behavior. The lab is specifically interested in understanding what the physical changes occur in the brain following different types of physically painful stimuli. Physically painful memories are very interesting because they are often the hardest to forget. We use the fruit fly to understand what happens at a molecular level when a painful memory is formed, and to understand how the brain interprets different types of painful stimuli. The lab is also interested in the role genes play in the diversity of responses to painful stimuli. Pain induced by mechanical stress is one modality that the lab has become very interested in because of its close ties to concussions and traumatic brain injury.

For more information visit the Crocker Lab website: http://sites.middlebury.edu/crockerlab/

 

Courses

Course List: 

Courses offered in the past four years.
indicates offered in the current term
indicates offered in the upcoming term[s]

MBBC 0700 - Senior Research      

Senior Thesis
Seniors conducting independent study in Molecular Biology and Biochemistry should register for MBBC 0700 unless they are completing a thesis project in which case they should register for MBBC 0701. (Approval required).

Winter 2017, Spring 2017, Winter 2018, Spring 2018, Fall 2018, Winter 2019, Spring 2019, Fall 2019, Winter 2020, Spring 2020

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MBBC 0701 - Senior Thesis      

Senior Thesis
Students conducting independent thesis research in Molecular Biology and Biochemistry must register for MBBC 0701 while completing research projects initiated in BIOL 0500, MBBC 0700, or CHEM 0400. Students will organize and lead regular discussions of their research and research methods, and attend weekly meetings with their designated laboratory group to foster understanding of their special area, and practice the stylistic and technical aspects of scientific writing needed to write their thesis. (CHEM 0400 or BIOL 0500 or MBBC 0700) (Approval required).

Winter 2017, Spring 2017, Winter 2018, Spring 2018, Winter 2019, Spring 2019, Winter 2020, Spring 2020

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NSCI 0225 - Brain Evolution      

Evolution and Development of the Brain
Our brains are complex in both structure and function. But why? Why did we evolve to have a nervous system? What cellular and molecular events during development produce this complexity? Students will gain a deep understanding of the structures of the brain, selection factors during evolution, and how the nervous system develops. Through introductory lectures, readings, and discussions, students will discover the fascinating evolutionary history of the human brain. (PSYC 0105 and BIOL 0145 or BIOL 0140) (not open to students who have taken NSCI 0325) 3 hrs. lect. SCI

Fall 2018

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NSCI 0251 - Cellular/MolecularNeuroscience      

Fundamentals of Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience
Neurons are the building blocks of complex circuits that underlie perception and behavior. In this course we will examine the molecular and cellular basis of neuron structure and function. The topics include the molecular and cellular basis of action potential propagation, the molecular biology of synaptic transmission, the molecular mechanisms of synaptic plasticity, and the molecular mechanisms of sensory transduction. Laboratory exercises will train students in commonly used neurobiology techniques and engage students in novel investigations. (BIOL 0145 or CHEM 0103 or CHEM 0104 or CHEM 0107 and PSYC 0105; Open to neuroscience majors, nonmajors by waiver; Not open to juniors or seniors). 3 hrs. lect./3 hrs. lab. SCI

Spring 2016, Fall 2016, Spring 2019

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NSCI 0252 - Behavioral Neuroscience      

Fundamentals of Behavioral Neuroscience
Behavioral neuroscience is an interdisciplinary field that combines approaches and knowledge from psychology, biology, and chemistry to further our understanding of human and non-human animal behavior. In this course, you will study the interrelationships among elements of the nervous systems, co-functioning bodily systems, and behavioral output such as emotions, sex, memory, consciousness, sleep, and language. You will be given an opportunity to apply your knowledge from NSCI 0251 of the nervous system at the micro and macro levels and will revisit the basic concepts of behavioral genetics and psychopharmacology. This cumulative knowledge base will serve as your foundation for advanced study of neural systems and their relative roles in progressively more complex behaviors such as basic reflexes, motivation, rational thought, neural disorders, and therapeutic efficacy. (NSCI 0251; open to NSCI majors only, others by approval) 3 hrs. lect./3 hrs. lab. SCI

Spring 2017, Fall 2017

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NSCI 0325 - Brain Evolution      

Evolution and Development of the Brain
Our brains are complex in both structure and function. But why? Why did we evolve to have a nervous system? What cellular and molecular events during development produce this complexity? Students will gain a deep understanding of the structures of the brain, selection factors during evolution, and how the nervous system develops. Through introductory lectures, readings, and discussions, students will discover the fascinating evolutionary history of the human brain.  (NSCI 0252 or PYSC 0301/0226; open to junior and senior neuroscience majors; others by waiver). SCI

Winter 2017, Spring 2018

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NSCI 0410 - Neural Coding      

Neural Coding: Visualizing How the Brain Computes
How does the brain go from an electrical signal to recognizing friends? In this course we will learn to use MATLAB to explore visually how the brain uses electrical signals to compute information. By using MATLAB as the frame for the class, students will gain skills in using a fundamental tool in neuroscience. In addition, through the use of introductory lectures, readings, in class programming activities, and discussion, students will deepen their understanding of how sensory information is encoded and then decoded. No experience using MATLAB necessary. (PSYC 0301, NSCI 0100, or NSCI 0251; open to junior and senior neuroscience majors; others by waiver). SCI

Spring 2016, Fall 2018

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NSCI 0425 - Methods in Neuroscience      

Methods in Systems Neuroscience
Our brains are series of connected neurons forming circuits. The properties of these neurons and circuits dictate their role in our behavior. This interaction is the foundation of systems neuroscience. In this course students will deepen their understanding of the fundamental properties of these neural circuits. Students will gain knowledge of the current methods of studying these circuits, including their promise for future research directions as well as their flaws. We will focus on learning the principles of neural circuitry and discussing primary literature. (NSCI 0252; open to junior and senior neuroscience majors; others by waiver). SCI

Fall 2016, Fall 2017, Spring 2019

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NSCI 0500 - Independent Research      

Independent Research
Students enrolled in NSCI 0500 complete individual research projects involving laboratory or extensive library study on a topic chosen by the student and approved in advance by a NSCI faculty advisor. This course is not open to seniors; seniors should enroll in NSCI 0700. (Approval required)

Fall 2015, Winter 2016, Spring 2016, Fall 2016, Winter 2017, Spring 2017, Fall 2017, Winter 2018, Spring 2018, Fall 2018, Winter 2019, Spring 2019, Fall 2019, Winter 2020, Spring 2020

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NSCI 0700 - Senior Research      

Senior Research
This course is for senior NSCI majors who plan to conduct one or more semesters of independent research, or who plan to complete preparatory work toward a senior thesis, such as researching and writing a thesis proposal as well as, if appropriate, collecting data that will form the basis for a senior thesis. Senior NSCI majors who plan to complete a senior thesis should register initially for NSCI 0700. Additional requirements may include participation in weekly meetings with advisors and/or lab groups and attending neuroscience seminars. (Approval required, open to seniors only)

Fall 2015, Winter 2016, Spring 2016, Fall 2016, Winter 2017, Spring 2017, Fall 2017, Winter 2018, Spring 2018, Fall 2018, Winter 2019, Spring 2019, Fall 2019, Winter 2020, Spring 2020

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NSCI 0701 - Senior Thesis      

Senior Thesis
Senior NSCI majors who have completed one or more terms of NSCI 0700, who have a GPA of 3.3 in their major courses, and who plan to complete a senior thesis should register for NSCI 0701 for the final semester of the senior thesis process. Students enrolled in NSCI 0701 write a thesis, give a public presentation of their research, and present an oral defense of the thesis before a committee of at least two Neuroscience faculty members. Faculty may recommend High honors in Neuroscience after considering the quality of these components of a student’s thesis and the student’s GPA in major courses. Additional requirements may include participation in weekly meetings with advisors and/or lab groups and attending neuroscience seminars. (NSCI 0700, Approval required)

Fall 2015, Winter 2016, Spring 2016, Fall 2016, Winter 2017, Spring 2017, Fall 2017, Winter 2018, Spring 2018, Fall 2018, Winter 2019, Spring 2019, Fall 2019, Winter 2020, Spring 2020

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PSYC 0301 / NSCI 0301 - Physiological Psychology      

Physiological Psychology
This course concerns the biological basis of human behavior. The course will consider the neurochemical, neuroanatomical, and neurophysiological bases of processes such as language, sensation, emotion, aggression, sleep, learning, and memory. In the laboratory the student will conduct experiments using standard (surgical, anatomical, biochemical, behavioral) techniques to investigate central nervous system function. (PSYC 0105 or any biology course; not open to first-year students; open to psychology majors; others by waiver) 3 hrs. lect./3 hrs. lab. SCI

Fall 2015

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Program in Neuroscience

McCardell Bicentennial Hall
276 Bicentennial Way
Middlebury College
Middlebury, VT 05753