COVID-19 Updates: Fall Semester

Research Labs

Prof.  Jason Arndt (Department of Psychology)

Human Memory Lab: Our lab examines the mental processes that underlie human memory. Current projects seek to understand the nature of memory errors, the influence of emotion on memory, how taking a test (as opposed to just studying) can improve long term memory, and how social processes influence memory.

Prof. Marcia Collaer (Department of Psychology)

Spatial Cognition Lab: Our research investigates factors influencing cognitive abilities, particularly spatial skills. Some issues of interest: how do people ‘pay attention’ to their environment, strategies used, the influence of stressors, the role of social influences such as stereotypes, and relationships to hormones.

Prof. Amanda Crocker (Neuroscience Program)

Systems Neuroscience Lab. Our lab uses the genetically tractable model organism Drosophila melanogaster (Fruit fly) to study the molecular and cellular mechanisms underlying behavior. By using a relatively less complex model nervous system we can map defined circuits, often involving just a few neurons. Our hope is that by studying these defined small circuits and basic behaviors such as learning, feeding, and sleep we can identify novel genes and gene pathways important for cell definition and circuit function.

Prof. Kim Cronise (Department of Psychology)

Alcohol Addiction Lab: Alcoholics begin their careers with a single drink and, in time, their consumption patterns increase dramatically. The lab investigates factors that cause alcohol dependence, focusing on tolerance, one of the consequences of repeated exposure to alcohol, which may “kick start” the addiction cycle.

Prof. Mike Dash (Department of Psychology)

Behavioral Neurophysiology Lab: Our lab investigates the effects of spontaneous brain activity on both brain function and brain physiology.  By simultaneously monitoring electrical/chemical indices of brain activity along with behavior, we aim to understand the neurophysiological underpinnings and consequences of fundamental behaviors such as sleep and learning/memory.

Prof. Glen Ernstrom (Department of Biology and Neuroscience)

Molecular Neurobiology Lab: Our lab studies the molecular neurobiology of neurotransmission. Using the genetically tractable model organism the round worm Caenorhabditis elegans we investigate how neurotransmitters are loaded into synaptic vesicles and how synaptic vesicles release neurotransmitters from neurons. Our ultimate goal is to define common mechanisms of neurotransmitter loading and release that can facilitate the design of therapies for human neural disorders.

Prof. Kareem Khalifa (Department of Philosophy)

My research focuses on scientific explanation and understanding. I am currently writing a book that argues that scientific understanding is reducible to explanatory knowledge, and a series of papers challenging the ambitions and semantic assumptions of philosophical analyses of explanation. 

Prof. Matt Kimble (Department of Psychology)

Clinical Psychophysiology Lab: The lab investigates the behavioral, peripheral, and central correlates of anxiety and anxiety disorders using eye tracking, event related potentials, and measures of peripheral autonomic activity.

Prof.  Clarissa Parker (Department of Psychology and Neuroscience)

Behavioral Genetics Lab: Our research examines the genes and neurobiological pathways associated with  stress, anxiety, and substance abuse using mouse models.

Prof.  Tom Root (Department of Biology)

Neurobiology Lab: My research is in zoology, physiology and neurobiology (specifically the neural control of behavior) with many different animals, but primarily invertebrates and especially arachnids and cephalopod mollusks. We study an animal's senses and movements, and how those permit an animal to locomote, feed, escape or behave in other effective ways, such as in octopuses where we are currently studying how they use senses to direct exquisite and precise movements, and how they learn to make a choice and learn choices for adaptive behavior.

Prof. John Spackman (Department of Philosophy)

My current research focuses on the relation between experience and language, and in particular on recent debates about whether perceptual, religious, and aesthetic experience should be viewed as conceptual or non-conceptual. I also have a special research interest in Buddhist philosophy, and in particular on Buddhist perspectives on the relations between mind, language, and reality.

Prof.  Mark Spritzer (Department of Biology)

Behavioral Neuroendocrinology Lab: Our lab focuses on the effects of hormones on spatial memory and underlying neural plasticity. We are particularly interested in the role that adult neurogenesis in the formation of new memories.  We are also examining how sexual interactions and social isolation influence adult neurogenesis and associated cognitive abilities.  To learn more about the Spritzer lab, click here.

Prof.  Bill Waldron (Department of Religion)

My work focuses on classical Indian Buddhist theories of cognition and the role of unconscious mental processes in the construction of perception. It brings these ancient ideas into dialogue with similar perspectives in cognitive science and neuroscience.

Program in Neuroscience

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