On Wednesday, April 2, the Neuroscience Program hosted its spring symposium. The keynote address was then given by Dr. Regina Sullivan, Professor of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at the NYU School of Medicine and a Developmental Behavioral Neurobiologist at the Nathan Kline Institute for Psychiatric Research and affiliate of the Emotional Brain Institute.
Dr. Sullivan has co-authored over 100 peer-reviewed manuscripts and is currently the Principal Investigator or co-Principal Investigator on four grants from the National Institutes of Health. Dr. Sullivan’s talk, titled “Neurobiology of infant attachment learning and suppression of fear learning”, focused on the impact of early-life stress and abuse on mother-infant behaviors as well as related changes in neural activity in regions involved in emotion, such as the amygdala. This research has implications for interventions aimed at improving outcomes for children who experience traumatic events early in life.
The other speaker was W&M undergraduate student, Jack Bramley, whose advisor is Professor William Buchser in the Department of Biology. Mr. Bramley’s talk was titled, “Assessing axon degeneration in isolated zebra finch neurons” and provided an overview of research into how neurodegeneration can proceed after brain injury.