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Research Interests for Christina L. Williams

Research Interests: Perinatal Programming of Hippocampal Plasticity, Mechanism of Hippocampal Memory, Hormones, Brain and Behavior, and Developmental Neuroscience

My research uses both mouse and rat models to examine how nutrients and hormones alter the course of brain and behavioral development. For example, we find that supplementing or depleting nutrients like choline or folate from the maternal diet have long-term consequences on rats' memory function during early development, in adulthood, and into old age. Specifically, choline supplementation appears to improve memory while short periods of choline deprivations during prenatal development appears to selectively impair attentional processes. A second line of research examines the effects of estrogen and other steroid hormones on brain and memory function across the lifespan. I am interested in both early developmental effects of estrogens (that is, the development of sex differences in cognition) as well as effects of replacement estrogens after reproductive senescence. Recently our laboratory has begun to use various genetically altered strains of mice (knockouts and transgene) to examine how nutrients and hormones during development may interact with genotype to alter the development of learning and memory processes.

Keywords:
Acetylcholinesterase, Aconitine, Acoustic Stimulation, Age Factors, Aging, Algorithms, Analysis of Variance, Androgens, Animals, Animals, Newborn, Animals, Suckling, Association Learning, Attention, Behavior, Animal, Biological Clocks, Brain, Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor, Bromodeoxyuridine, Carbachol, Cell Proliferation, Cells, Cultured, Cerebral Cortex, Child, Choice Behavior, Choline, Choline Deficiency, Choline O-Acetyltransferase, Cholinergic Agents, Cholinergic Fibers, Circadian Rhythm, Cognition, Conditioning (Psychology), Conditioning, Classical, Corpus Striatum, Corticosterone, Cranial Irradiation, Cues, Cyclic AMP Response Element-Binding Protein, Cytokines, Dendrites, Dentate Gyrus, Diet, Dietary Supplements, Discrimination Learning, Disease Models, Animal, Dopamine, Dose-Response Relationship, Drug, Down-Regulation, Drug Synergism, Electric Stimulation, Electroencephalography, Electromyography, Electrophoretic Mobility Shift Assay, Electrophysiology, Electroshock, Embryo, Mammalian, Embryonic and Fetal Development, Emotions, Epigenetics, Estradiol, Estrogen Replacement Therapy, Estrogens, Excitatory Postsynaptic Potentials, Exercise Therapy, Exploratory Behavior, Extinction, Psychological, Fear, Feeding Behavior, Female, Fetus, Fibroblasts, Food, Frontal Lobe, GABA, Gene Expression, Gene Expression Regulation, Developmental, Gene Expression Regulation, Enzymologic, Genes, Genes, RAG-1, Gestational Age, Glial Fibrillary Acidic Protein, Glutamate Decarboxylase, Glutamic Acid, Gonadal Steroid Hormones, Hippocampus, Humans, Hypertrophy, Imprinting (Psychology), Insulin-Like Growth Factor I, Intercellular Signaling Peptides and Proteins, Interpersonal Relations, Kainic Acid, Learning, Long-Term Potentiation, Macaca mulatta, Male, MAP Kinase Signaling System, Maternal-Fetal Exchange, Maze Learning, Memory, Memory Disorders, Memory, Short-Term, Mental Recall, Mice, Mice, Inbred C57BL, Mice, Knockout, Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinases, Motivation, Muscarinic Agonists, Muscarinic Antagonists, N-Methylaspartate, Nerve Fibers, Nerve Net, Nerve Tissue Proteins, Neurogenesis, Neuronal Plasticity, Neurons, Neuropsychological Tests, Nicotine, Nicotinic Agonists, Nootropic Agents, Normal Distribution, Nutritional Sciences, Odors, Orchiectomy, Organ Specificity, Orientation, Ovariectomy, Ovary, Parasympathetic Nervous System, Perinatal Care, Phosphorylation, Photic Stimulation, Photoperiod, Physical Conditioning, Animal, Play and Playthings, Potassium, Prefrontal Cortex, Pregnancy, Pregnancy Complications, Prenatal Care, Prenatal Exposure Delayed Effects, Prenatal Nutritional Physiological Phenomena, Probability, Problem Solving, Progesterone, Prosencephalon, Protein Processing, Post-Translational, Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-fos, Psychomotor Performance, Psychophysics, Pyramidal Cells, Quinuclidinyl Benzilate, Radiation Dosage, Random Allocation, Rats, Rats, Inbred Strains, Rats, Sprague-Dawley, Reaction Time, Receptor, Nerve Growth Factor, Receptors, Cholinergic, Receptors, Muscarinic, Receptors, Nerve Growth Factor, Receptors, Nicotinic, Recognition (Psychology), Reference Values, Reinforcement (Psychology), Reinforcement Schedule, Reproducibility of Results, Retention (Psychology), Running, Scopolamine Hydrobromide, Sensory Thresholds, Sex Characteristics, Sex differences, Sex Differentiation, Sex Factors, Sexual Maturation, Sleep, Social Environment, Socialization, Space Perception, Spatial Behavior, Status Epilepticus, Stress, Psychological, Synapses, Synaptic Transmission, Testis, Testosterone, Thinking, Time Factors, Time Perception, Transcription Factors, Transfection, Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor A
Representative Publications   (search)
  1. Sandstrom, NJ; Loy, R; Williams, CL, Prenatal choline supplementation increases NGF levels in the hippocampus and frontal cortex of young and adult rats., Brain Research, vol. 947 no. 1 (August, 2002), pp. 9-16 [doi[abs].
  2. Mohler, EG; Meck, WH; Williams, CL, Sustained Attention in Adult Mice is Modulated by Prenatal Choline Availability, International Journal of Comparative Psychology, vol. 14 (2001), pp. 136-150 (Special Issue on Behavior & Neurogenomics.).
  3. Sandstrom, NJ; Williams, CL, Memory retention is modulated by acute estradiol and progesterone replacement., Behavioral Neuroscience, vol. 115 no. 2 (April, 2001), pp. 384-393 [11345963], [doi[abs].
  4. Montoya, DA; White, AM; Williams, CL; Blusztajn, JK; Meck, WH; Swartzwelder, HS, Prenatal choline exposure alters hippocampal responsiveness to cholinergic stimulation in adulthood., Brain Research. Developmental Brain Research, vol. 123 no. 1 (September, 2000), pp. 25-32 [11020547[abs].
  5. Williams, C.L., Hormones and Cognition, in Behavioral Endocrinology, edited by Becker, J.B., Breedlove, S.M., & Crews, D. (2002), pp. 527-577, Boston, MA, MIT Press.
  6. C.L. Williams & Mohler, E.G., Prenatal Choline Supplementation Modifies Brain Development: Improved Cognition and Neuroprotection, in Diet-Brain Connections: Impact on Memory, Aging and Disease, edited by M. Mattson (2002), pp. 1-14, Dordrecht, The Netherlands: Kluwer Academic.

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