Neuroscience Program faculty are active researchers (see publications below), and opportunities for undergraduates to participate in research are available in several departments on campus. We encourage students to conduct laboratory research while at St. Thomas, especially those interested in graduate school.

Students can apply for one of several St. Thomas research grants. The Young Scholars program funds student research with a St. Thomas professor during the summer, and the Collaborative Inquiry Grant funds student research during the academic year. First generation college students, members of under-represented minority groups, and those from a disadvantaged background can apply for the Excel! Scholars Program.

Students looking for research experience at other institutions can apply for competitive Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) programs funded through the National Science Foundation, the National Institutes of Health, and others.

Neuroscience Program students regularly present research at regional meetings such as MidBrains and the Minnesota Academy of Science, and at international conferences including the Society for Neuroscience, Experimental Biology and the American Psychological Association annual meetings.


Faculty Publications since 2011

*Denotes undergraduate co-author

Wolfe U and Lindeborg H*. (in press).  “Environmental Neuroscience”: an online teaching module for the undergraduate classroom.  Journal of Undergraduate Neuroscience Education

Baker EP*, Magnuson EC*, Dahly AM*, Siegel JA. (2018). The effects of enriched environment on the behavioral and corticosterone response to methamphetamine in adolescent and adult mice. Developmental Psychobiology, 60, 664-673

Hartmann ME, Prichard JR. (2018) Calculating the contribution of sleep problems to undergraduates’ academic success. Sleep Health 4: 463–471.

Janto KJ*, Prichard JR, Pusalavidyasagar SS. (2018) Dual orexin receptor antagonists: A review and evaluation of therapeutic potential for insomnia in the elderly. J. Clinical Sleep Medicine. 14(8):1399–1408.

Struntz KH* and Siegel JA. (2018). Effects of methamphetamine exposure on anxiety-like behavior in the open field test, corticosterone, and hippocampal tyrosine hydroxylase in adolescent and adult mice. Behavioural Brain Research, 348, 211-218.  

Buck JM*, Morris AS*, Weber S, Raber J, Siegel JA. (2017). Effects of methamphetamine and nicotine exposure on behavioral performance and MAP-2 immunoreactivity in the nucleus accumbens of adolescent mice. Behavioural Brain Research, 323, 78-85.

Wolfe U and Moran A*. (2017).  Integrating Brain Science into Health Studies: An Interdisciplinary Course in Contemplative Neuroscience and Yoga.  Journal of Undergraduate Neuroscience Education16(1), A77–A82.

Boehm MA*, Lei QM*, Lloyd RM, Prichard JR. (2016) Depression, anxiety and tobacco use overlapping impediments to sleep in a national sample of college students. Journal of the American College of Health, 64: 565-574.

Brendel W, Hankerson SJ and Byun SW. (2016) Cultivating leadership dharma: Measuring the impact of regular mindfulness practice on creativity, resilience, tolerance for ambiguity, anxiety, and stress. Journal of Management Development, 35: 1056-1078.

Heimovics SA, Prior NH, Ma C, Soma KK. (2016) Rapid Effects of an Aggressive Interaction on Dehydroepiandrosterone, Testosterone and Oestradiol Levels in the Male Song Sparrow Brain: a Seasonal Comparison. Journal of Neuroendocrinology 28. doi: 10.1111/jne.12345

Husak JF, Ferguson HA* and Lovern MB. (2016) Tradeoffs among locomotor performance, reproduction, and immunity in lizards. Functional Ecology 30:1665-1674.

Husak JF. (2016) Measuring selection on physiology in the wild and manipulating phenotypes (in terrestrial non-human vertebrates). Comprehensive Physiology, 6:63-85.

Kelly CK*, Prichard JR. (2016) Demographics, health, and risk behaviors of young adults who drink energy drinks and coffee beverages. Journal of Caffeine Research, 6:73-81.

Klipec WD, Rasmus KC, O'Neill C, Cao J, Lawyer CR*, Ostertag E, Bachtell RK, Illig KR and Cooper DC. (2016) Loss of the trpc4 gene is associated with a selective reduction in cocaine reward and reduced spontaneous ventral tegmental area dopamine neuronal activity. Behavioural Brain Research, 306: 117-127.

Peine MI*, Prichard JR, Kunisaki KM. (2016) Unauthorized online sales of secondhand continuous positive airway pressure devices. JAMA Internal Medicine, 176:1559-1561.

Rud MA*, Do TN* and Siegel JA. (2016) Effects of early adolescent methamphetamine exposure on anxiety-like behavior an dcorticosterone levels in mice. Neuroscience Letters, 633: 257-261.

Westberry JM and Meredith M. (2016) Characteristic response to chemosensory signals in GABAergic cells of medial amygdala Is not driven by main olfactory input. Chemical Senses. pii: bjw096. [Epub ahead of print]

Westberry JM and Meredith M. (2016) GABAergic mechanisms contributing to categorical amygdala responses to chemosensory signals. Neuroscience, 331:186-96.

Buck JM and Siegel JA. (2015) The effects of adolescent methamphetamine exposure. Frontiers in Neuroscience, 9: 1-5.

Heimovics, S.A., Trainor, B.C., Soma, K.K. (2015). Rapid Effects of Estradiol on Aggression in Birds and Mice: The Fast and the Furious. Integrative and Comparative Biology, May 16: 1-13.

Heimovics, S.A., Ferris, J.K., Soma, K.K. (2015). Non-invasive administration of 17beta-estradiol rapidly increases aggressive behavior in non-breeding, but not breeding, male song sparrows. Hormones and Behavior, 69: 31-38.

Husak JF, Keith AR*, Wittry BN*. (2015) Making Olympic lizards: the effects of specialised exercise training on lizard performance. Journal of Experimental Biology, 218:899-906.

Husak JF and Lailvaux S. (2015) An evolutionary perspective on conflict and compensation in physiological and functional traits. Current Zoology 60:755-767.

Illig KR. (2015) Techniques and technology to revise content delivery and model critical thinking in the neuroscience classroom. Journal of Undergraduate Neuroscience Education, 13: A160-A165.

McClure TS* and Siegel JA. (2015) Neuroaesthetics: An introduction to visual art. Impulse, 2015: 1-7.

Sathe EA* and Husak JF. (2015) Sprint sensitivity and locomotor trade-Offs in green anole (Anolis carolinensis) lizards”. Journal of Experimental Biology, 218:2174-2179.

Wilson RS, Husak JF, Clemente C, Halsey L. (2015) Predicting the movement speeds of animals in natural environments. Integrative and Comparative Biology 55:1125-1141.

Wolfe U and Ali N*. (2015)  Dark Adaptation and Purkinje Shift:  A Laboratory Exercise in Perceptual Neuroscience.  Journal of Undergraduate Neuroscience Education, 13: A59-A63.

Hankerson SJ and Dietz JM. (2014) Predation rate and future reproductive potential explain home range size in golden lion tamarins. Animal Behaviour, 96: 87-95.

Lailvaux SP and Husak JF. (2014) The life-history of whole-organism performance. Quarterly Review of Biology, 89: 285-318.

Joca L, Zuloaga DG, Raber J, Siegel JA. (2014) Long-term effects of early adolescent methamphetamine exposure on depression-like behavior and the hypothalamic vasopressin system in mice. Developmental Neuroscience, 36: 108-118.

Daniell C, *Bartlett S and Siegel JA (2013) Effects of high-fat diet and ethanol on cognition and behavior in mice. Journal of Young Investigators, 25: 96-100.

Garske AK*, Lawyer CR*, Peterson BM*, Illig KR. (2013) Adolescent Changes in Dopamine D1 Receptor Expression in Orbitofrontal Cortex and Piriform Cortex Accompany an Associative Learning Deficit. PLoS ONE, 8(2): e56191.

Henry MD, Hankerson SJ, Siani JM, French JA, Dietz JM. (2013) High rates of pregnancy loss by subordinates leads to high reproductive skew in wild golden lion tamarins (Leontopithecus rosalia). Hormones and Behavior, 63: 675-683.

Prior NH, Heimovics SA, Soma KK. (2013) Effects of water restriction on reproductive physiology and affiliative behavior in an opportunistically-breeding and monogamous songbird, the zebra finch. Hormones and Behavior, 63:462-474

Zuloaga DG, Siegel JA, Acevedo SF, Agam M, Raber J. (2013) Developmental methamphetamine exposure results in short- and long-term alterations in HPA axis-associated proteins. Developmental Neuroscience, 35: 338-346.

Heimovics SA, Prior NH, Maddison, CJ, Soma KK. (2012) Rapid and widespread effects of 17b-estradiol on intracellular signaling in the male songbird brain: a seasonal comparison. Endocrinology, 153:1364-1376.

Hudson TE, Wolfe U, Maloney LT. (2012) Speeded reaching movements around invisible obstacles. PLoS Computational Biology, 8(9): e1002676.

Siegel JA, Haley GE and Raber J (2012) Apolipoprotein E isoform-dependent effects on anxiety and cognition in female TR mice. Neurobiology of Aging, 33: 345-358.

Westberry JM and Wilson ME. (2012) Regulation of ER alpha gene expression in the mouse prefrontal cortex during early postnatal development. Neurogenetics 3: 159-167.

Charlier TD, Newman AE, Heimovics SA, Po KL, Saldanha, CJ, Soma KK. (2011) Rapid effects of aggressive interactions on aromatase activity and oestradiol in discrete brain regions of wild male white-crowned sparrows. Journal of Neuroendocrinology, 23: 742-753.

Heimovics SA, Cornil CA, Ellis JF, Ball GF, Riters LV. (2011) Seasonal and individual variation in singing behavior relates to alpha 2-noradrenergic receptor density in brain regions implicated in song, social, and sexual behavior. Neuroscience, 182:133-143.

Husak JF and Swallow JG. (2011) Compensatory traits and the evolution of male ornaments. Behaviour, 148: 1-29.

Kay RB, Meyer EAA, Illig KR, Brunjes PC. (2011) Spatial distribution of neural activity in the anterior olfactory nucleus evoked by odor and electrical stimulation. The Journal of Comparative Neurology, 519: 277-289.

Prichard JR and Cornett-Murtada. (2011) Music and the mind:  A new interdisciplinary course on the science of musical experience. Journal of Undergraduate Neuroscience Education, 9: A92-A97.

Siegel JA, Park BS and Raber J. (2011) Methamphetamine exposure during brain development alters the brain acetylcholine system in adolescent mice. Journal of Neurochemistry, 119: 89-99.

Siegel JA, Park BS, and Raber J. (2011) Long-term effects of neonatal methamphetamine exposure on cognitive function in adolescent mice. Behavioural Brain Research, 219: 159-164.

Taves MD, Ma C, Heimovics SA, Saldanha CJ, Soma KK. (2011) Measurement of steroid concentrations in brain tissue: methodological considerations. Frontiers in Neuroendocrine Science, 2:39

Westberry JM, Trout AL, Wilson ME. (2011) Epigenetic regulation of estrogen receptor beta expression during aging. Neuroreport 22: 428-432.