Maternal behaviors induced by naturalistic maternal stress




Associate Professor of Anesthesiology and Critical Care

Project Summary

The goal of the project was to observe the changes in behaviors of mother rats that undergo the repeated social stress. Identifying the substrates and circuits in the brain that play a significant role in one’s resilience or vulnerability to the effects of repeated social stress is also a major aspect of the project that is ongoing. Rodent models were used to observe the changes in behavior and the impact of social stress on the brain and their physiology. Through this project, I was able to learn how to efficiently video-code experimental videos using dedicated software in order to acquire important data, relay the newly acquired information to other members that have a role in the project, and learned to slice rodent brains using a cryostat. Working alongside other members of the lab and assisting in their projects, I also learned a new method of performing a PCR test using materials that differ from the ones used in Biology courses, got a better understanding of the CRISPR process, and viewed a surgical procedure being performed on a rodent. I did not understand how much time goes into the preparation stage of a surgical procedure until I observed one of the lab members going through all of the steps. Participating in this research project allowed me to have a deeper look into how research is conducted in the real world, how to obtain the greatest amount of relevant data using the available resources and collaborating with other members in order to streamline any process. I got a better understanding of how lengthy the process of the experimental stage of a research project can become, and thus, developed a new level of respect for those involved in the field.