Students studying outside the library

Neuroscience Facilities - Department of Psychology

Panoramic of Pittman Lab

The Neuroscience Area is centered around a large fully multimedia equipped teaching laboratory with four individual workstations for use in the neuroscience course laboratories. In addition to the role as a teaching laboratory, the neuroscience area can accommodate a lecture class of up to 20 students.
Four independent student electrophysiological set-ups with dissecting scopes can be used simultaneously in the main neuroscience laboratory area.

There are dedicated chemical storage and chemical preparation areas as well as a histology and surgery suite equipped with computers, microscopes, and surgical apparatus. Two externally vented fume hoods provide protection when working with hazardous or volatile chemicals.

Lab set up
The Gustatory Behavioral Lab      

Dr. Pittman's gustatory behavioral laboratory allows students to measure the behavioral responses of rats and mice to various taste stimuli during brief-access or long-duration testing sessions. 

Davis Lab
The Davis MS-160 behavioral rig (shown below) allows automated presentations of up to 16 different taste 

stimuli while collecting measurements of animals' behavioral responses at a resolution of 1 millisecond.  
Data analysis programs include examination of cumulative licks, latency until first lick, interlick interval, and rate of licking. 

The Davis MS-160 uses a customized computer program to control the order of stimuli, the time between each stimulus, and the length of the stimulus presentation. 

The acoustic isolation chamber housing the Davis Rig contains air circulation fans, a white noise generator, and a web based camera to allow observation of the animal during testing.

Professor in Davis MS-160
View a video clip of a rat responding in the Davis Rig.
Rat in experiment with shutter closed
A rat waits for the shutter to open presenting a taste stimulus.
Rat in experiment with shutter open
The shutter in the open position allows access to one of sixteen bottle spouts.
Rats in cages
 Rat licking from bottle
 Equipment used in experiment
The AC-108 is an 8-channel lickometer capable of recording the licking behavior of rats for up to 24 hours. The 8 lickometers can be installed in single cages allowing testing of a single solution for 8 rats at a time or the lickometers can be installed 2 per cage to allow 2-bottle data collection for 4 rats at a time. The time of each lick made by a rat is recorded with a 1 microsecond resolution. Custom software allows microanalysis of the licking behavior. The microanalysis can be used to identify licking behaviors associated with taste-mediated cues such as lick rate and number of licks within a burst or licking behaviors typically associated with post-ingestive cues such as licks per meal and meal durations. 
View a video clip of a rat being tested in the AC-108.

The Electrophysiological Recording Lab

In the spring of 2005, a state-of-the-art electrophysiological recording rig was added to the neuroscience laboratory.  The rig is equipped with a floating tabletop, homeothermic temperature regulation, cautery, air turbine drill, aspirator, surgical tools, dissecting scope with camera, microdrive manipulator, differential amplifier, micro1401 & spike digital acquisition system, a DELL CPU, 19" LCD screen with PIP for CPU &  scope  camera dual display, and a custom stimulus delivery system.

The system is capable of recording  integrated whole nerve responses and single nerve fiber responses as well as multi-unit and single-unit neuron responses in peripheral ganglion or  the central nervous system.

electrophysiological recording rig
Microscope connected to rig
Student using the rig
Panoramic of lab

Psychology Behavioral Processes Laboratory 
Animal Husbandry Facilities