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Undergraduate Honors Theses

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Activity-Dependent Regulation of Calcium and Ribosomes in the Chick Cochlear Nucleus
Activity-Dependent Regulation of Calcium and Ribosomes in the Chick Cochlear Nucleus
Cochlea removal results in the death of 20-30% of neurons in nucleus magnocellularis (NM), a cochlear nucleus of the chick auditory system involved in the precise time-coding of acoustic signals. Within 1 hr of deafferentation, intracellular calcium concentration ([Ca2+]i) rises by up to 400% while the integrity of ribosomes begins to decline—two potentially cytotoxic events. Glutamatergic axons of the auditory nerve have been shown to maintain NM neuron health by activating group I and II metabotropic glutamate receptors (mGluRs), maintaining normal [Ca2+]i and ribosomal integrity. This study aimed to determine how [Ca2+]i and ribosomal integrity are maintained by auditory nerve stimulation by selectively blocking group I mGluRs with AIDA and group II mGluRs with LY 341495 during unilateral auditory nerve stimulation. The abundance of Ca2+ in NM neurons was quantified using in vitro fura-2 ratiometric calcium imaging, while ribosomal integrity was assayed in a subset of the same tissue slices using Y10B immunolabeling (Y10B-ir). It was expected that AIDA and LY 341495 would increase [Ca2+]i and these increases would occur in parallel with an elimination in stimulation-induced differences in Y10B-ir between stimulated and unstimulated neurons of a slice. AIDA caused large increases in [Ca2+]i and eliminated differences in Y10B-ir between sides. Surprisingly, LY 341495 failed to cause reliable increases in [Ca2+]i compared to stimulated controls, but still eliminated differences in Y10B-ir between sides. These results suggest dissociation in how calcium and ribosomes are regulated in NM neurons., Keywords: activity-dependent, group I mGluR, group II mGluR, ribosome, calcium, Submitted Note: A Thesis submitted to the Department of Psychology in partial fulfillment of the requirements for graduation with Honors in the Major., Degree Awarded: Spring Semester, 2015., Date of Defense: April 9, 2015.
Acute Effects of Ketamine on Social Interaction after Chronic Defeat
Acute Effects of Ketamine on Social Interaction after Chronic Defeat
Depression is a debilitating disorder with established prevalence and detrimental impact on the economy. Ketamine is a fast acting and long lasting treatment for depression, including treatment resistant patients. The mechanism(s) behind ketamine's effects is unknown. Thus, this study assessed the effects of acute ketamine treatment on a new chronic stress paradigm using C57BL/6J and CD1 aggressor adult male mice. The C57BL/6J mice were assigned to three groups: emotional stress (ES), physical stress (PS), and control (CON) conditions. The mice in the PS condition received social defeats, while the ES mice witnessed the defeats, for 10 consecutive days, 10 minutes each day. Twenty-four hours after the last stress session, the mice were injected with either saline or ketamine (0.20 mg/kg) one hour before a social interactions test was conducted to assess whether ketamine could rescue deficits in interaction elicited by chronic stress. Mice in the PS condition showed significantly reduced interaction time when the target was present, whereas the ES-exposed mice displayed only similar trend, regardless of drug treatment. Time spent in corners varied as a function of stress exposure but not drug treatment, with the ES- and PS-exposed mice spending significantly more time in the corners when the target was present. With the exception of the ketamine-treated controls, mice receiving saline displayed reduced interaction times when compared to a group of non-injected controls regardless of stress condition. These finding suggest that ketamine was unable to alleviate the stress-induced deficits in social interaction, however, acute ketamine may be beneficial in alleviating the effects of acute stress., Keywords: ketamine, depression, social defeat, Submitted Note: A Thesis submitted to the Department of Psychology in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Honors in the Major., Degree Awarded: Spring Semester, 2013., Date of Defense: April 17, 2013.
Acute Effects of Late Evening Whey and Casein Ingestion on Fasting Blood Glucose,          Blood Lipid Profile, Resting Metabolic Rate, and Hunger in Overweight and Obese          Individuals
Acute Effects of Late Evening Whey and Casein Ingestion on Fasting Blood Glucose, Blood Lipid Profile, Resting Metabolic Rate, and Hunger in Overweight and Obese Individuals
Theoretically, protein ingestion before sleep should affect obesity rates and promote cardiovascular health by increasing nocturnal metabolism and decreasing morning hunger. However, there is little research linking nighttime protein ingestion and morning cardiovascular health, metabolism, and hunger., Submitted Note: A Thesis submitted to the Department of Nutrition, Food, and Exercise Science in partial fulfillment of the requirements for graduation with Honors in the Major., Degree Awarded: Spring Semester, 2012., Date of Defense: April 16, 2012.
Adaptation of Ultra-Precise Atomic Mass Measurement Techniques to Microwave          Spectroscopy on a Single Molecular Ion by Detecting Polarizability Shifts in a Penning          Trap
Adaptation of Ultra-Precise Atomic Mass Measurement Techniques to Microwave Spectroscopy on a Single Molecular Ion by Detecting Polarizability Shifts in a Penning Trap
Using the FSU Ion Penning trap it is possible to measure the ratio of the cyclotron frequencies of two molecular ions to a precision of 0.1 ppb. These cyclotron frequencies can be shifted due to large electric polarizabilities in some molecular ions. Because the polarizability of the molecular ion is dependent on the quantized rotational levels of the molecule, is possible to use the cyclotron frequency shifts detected in our lab to detect transitions between rotational levels. This allows us to do microwave spectroscopy on single molecular ions. The main goal of this project will be to implement this new method of microwave spectroscopy, by measuring the lambda-type doubling splitting of the diatomic molecular ion, NH+, in its vibrational and rotational ground state., Keywords: Microwave spectroscopy NH+, Submitted Note: A Thesis submitted to the Department of Physics in partial fulfillment of the requirements for graduation with Honors in the Major., Degree Awarded: Spring Semester, 2011., Date of Defense: April 15, 2011.
Adhesion and performance of polymer gel electrolytes
Adhesion and performance of polymer gel electrolytes
Here at the HPMI, a novel photovoltaic device structure was created, called the wire-shaped dyesensitized solar cell (WS-DSSC). This cell has been primarily synthesized and fabricated in the laboratory environment with no control. To date, dye-sensitized solar cells (DSSCs or DSCs) have reached an efficiency of 11.9%, which is one of the fastest inclines towards higher efficiency cells. Therefore, a repeatable manufacturing process is needed to fully transfer the incredible gains of this structure. This will greatly influence the field of organic electronics, specifically organic solar cells. Due to the lack of volatile materials, the use of a solid-state electrolyte (SSE) could increase the safety of organic electronic devices. The specific scope of this research is the development of anoptimized SSE by introducing a polymer material to an aqueous electrolyte, creating a solid-state electrolyte. The printability aspect of this solid-state electrolyte is also studied to enable the use ofadditive manufacturing in the fabrication of WS-DSSCs. Upon analyzing the viscosity flow curves generated by the collected data they reveal that PVDF, specifically at the 8 wt/wt% concentration, has a much higher initial viscosity than the PEO solution of the same concentration. Leading to the conclusion that it will demonstrate a higher level of shape retention when compared to a PEO solution. Numerically, the initial viscosity of the PVDF sample was 2,780 [Pa*s] compared to just 4.82 [Pa*s] generated by the PEO sample. Conclusive data about the printing behaviors both PEO and PVDF electrolyte samples were not collected for the purposes of comparison. The use of a solid-state electrolyte in additive manufacturing techniques such as fused deposition modeling to print an SSE will greatly improve the speed at which organic electronics can be produced.
Adolescent temperament, learning styles, & course performance
Adolescent temperament, learning styles, & course performance
In a perfect world, every student would learn exactly the same way and the teacher wouldn't have to change his or her teaching method. However, each student in a classroom learns differently depending on his or her temperament. The genetically acquired temperament of a student has a variety of differences that may affect learning styles, in turn impacting academic performance and thus, grade point average. This in turn affects the student's overall confidence in school as well as the teacher's outlook on their class. Teachers may have a hard time adjusting to new students every year regarding both class environments as well as teaching styles. To address these problems, this complementarity mixed method study explores data of student temperament, learning styles, and GPA., Advisor: Dr. Shelbie Witte, Florida State University, College of Education, School of Teacher Education., Thesis (Honors paper)--Florida State University, 2010., Includes bibliographical references.
Affect of E-books on Reading
Affect of E-books on Reading
This thesis is concerned with the possible effects of e-books on reading from a socio-historical perspective and a neurological perspective. It looks at how reading habits change due to e-books and what that means for society. It also looks at what experts are currently saying about how e-books might affect human brains and the validity of these concerns. In addition, conclusions of areas of research to focus on are suggested. A survey about the reading habits of FSU students was taken. These results were incorporated to track FSU trends compared to national averages., Keywords: E-books, Reading, Books, Submitted Note: A Thesis submitted to the Department of English in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Honors in the Major., Degree Awarded: Spring Semester, 2012., Date of Defense: April 10, 2012.
Afferent Circuitry of the Ventromedial Hypothalamus and Its Activation in Paternal Behavior of the Socially Monogamous Prairie             Vole
Afferent Circuitry of the Ventromedial Hypothalamus and Its Activation in Paternal Behavior of the Socially Monogamous Prairie Vole
Paternal behavior is an interesting and important research topic due to its integral contribution to the fitness and well-being of multiple species, including humans. Although paternal behavior is well described in literature, attempts at neurobiological characterization have yielded conflicting results that fail to address brain region interconnectivity. This study was designed to evaluate the relationship between afferent VMH circuitry and the onset of paternal behavior, using the prairie vole (Microtus ochrogaster) model. Sexually naïve male prairie voles received injections of the retrograde neurotracer Fluoro-Gold (FG), into the VMH. Two weeks later, subjects were exposed to either conspecific pups, contained within a tea-ball, or an empty tea-ball (control) for 1 hr. Immunohistochemical labeling was conducted for both FG and the neuronal activity marker Egr-1, in order to evaluate neuronal and afferent pathway activation between the ventromedial hypothalamus (VMH) and the amygdala (AMYG), bed nucleus of the stria terminalis (BNST), lateral septum (LS) and ventral tegmental area (VTA). Similar to the pathway implicated in the onset of maternal behavior, the results of this study showed pup exposure-induced neuronal activation in the AMYG and BNST, particularly in the efferent pathways from these two brain areas to the VMH. This effect was not found in the LS and VTA projection neurons to the VMH. Together, the data suggests a brain region-specific neuronal activation by pup exposure in particular brain circuitry, implicating its possible involvement in paternal behavior., Keywords: Biochemistry, Neuroscience, Psychology, Paternal Behavior, Parental Behavior, Fatherhood, Ventromedial Hypothalamus, Vole, Submitted Note: A Thesis submitted to the Department of Biochemistry in partial fulfillment of the requirements for graduation with Honors in the Major., Degree Awarded: Summer Semester, 2015.

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