DATE: MAY 2018
INSTITUTION: Boston College | FIELD OF STUDY: Behavioral Neuroscience

Kristina Wright

PhD Candidate | Boston College

We will use Hamilton's Neuros syringes to execute cell-type specific neurotoxic lesions in the ventrolateral periaqueductal gray (vlPAG), A8 retrorubral field (A8 RRF) and caudal substantia nigra (cSN) to determine the role dopamine plays in a rodent's ability to react with fear to a threatening stimulus. Additionally, we will use these syringes to inject light-reactive viral constructs into these brain regions so we can use optogenetics to excite or inhibit neurons targeted using the syringes.

These syringes will allow us to execute discrete infusions of toxins or viral constructs with exceptional precision and allow us to answer critical questions we have regarding the role of these brain regions in fear expression. They will be used by undergraduates with a passion for neuroscience and eagerness to pursue a career in this field. These syringes are required for rodent brain manipulations, and undergraduates do not currently have access to the syringes they need to perform these procedures. The ability to provide them with syringes will substantially supplement their educational advancement in our laboratory, and afford them opportunities to be recognized at conferences and on publications. These syringes will also be critical to graduate students and post-docs further along in their careers, and benefit our lab in general by increasing the amount of surgeries we can do, and data we can collect.

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