Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) can be characterized as a complex mental disorder by its complications in cognitive functioning and behavioral deficits often onset by a traumatic event in one's life. Due to the limited efficacy of therapeutic interventions, the current treatment for this disorder includes psychotherapy, exposure based therapy, and medications such as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) cultivated for the treatment of anxiety disorders. Within recent years, different psychoactive substances with known psychotropic and hallucinogenic effects have been reviewed as novel treatments for acute stress disorders. Fear eliciting paradigms are used to represent the acute stress symptoms that facilitate post-traumatic stress disorder. This study will implement multiple aversive shock stimuli to evoke contextual based fear. A sample size of 12 adult mice will be placed into operant chambers and will be conditioned with an aversive stimulus. Four hours after the aversive stimuli, half of the mice will be injected with a psychoactive treatment and half will receive the control. Twenty four hours after the aversive stimuli, the mice will be placed back into the chamber to monitor for freezing behaviors. Additionally, mice will be placed into an open field apparatus to assess for symptoms of generalized anxiety disorder. We expect to see fear dysregulation and fear generalization within novel contexts in our control group, and decreased fear responses to the aversive context and a novel open field context.

Class Standing



Psychological Science

Faculty Advisor

Amber LaCrosse

Faculty Advisor Email