Publications by authors named "Tia N Donaldson"

5 Publications

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Anxiety and Alzheimer's disease: Behavioral analysis and neural basis in rodent models of Alzheimer's-related neuropathology.

Neurosci Biobehav Rev 2021 May 9;127:647-658. Epub 2021 May 9.

Department of Psychology, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM, 87109, Mexico. Electronic address:

Alzheimer's disease (AD) pathology is commonly associated with cognitive decline but is also composed of neuropsychiatric symptoms including psychological distress and alterations in mood, including anxiety and depression. Emotional dysfunction in AD is frequently modeled using tests of anxiety-like behavior in transgenic rodents. These tests often include the elevated plus-maze, light/dark test and open field test. In this review, we describe prototypical behavioral paradigms used to examine emotional dysfunction in transgenic models of AD, specifically anxiety-like behavior. Next, we summarize the results of studies examining anxiety-like behavior in transgenic rodents, noting that the behavioral outcomes using these paradigms have produced inconsistent results. We suggest that future research will benefit from using a battery of tests to examine emotional behavior in transgenic AD models. We conclude by discussing putative, overlapping neurobiological mechanisms underlying AD-related neuropathology, stress and anxiety-like behavior reported in AD models.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.neubiorev.2021.05.005DOI Listing
May 2021

Making waves: Comparing Morris water task performance in rats and prairie voles.

Behav Brain Res 2019 03 22;360:7-15. Epub 2018 Nov 22.

Psychology Department, Northern Illinois University, DeKalb, IL 60115-2892 USA.

Spatial processing is a critical component for survival. This domain of information processing has been extensively studied in rats and mice. Limited work has examined the capacity of other rodent species, like the prairie vole (Microtus ochrogaster), to process spatial information. The Morris water task (MWT) is a classic spatial task that has been used to examine spatial cognition in rodents. This task involves an animal developing configural relationships between extra-maze cues and the location of a hidden platform to successfully escape from a pool of water. The current study compared performance in the MWT between rats and prairie voles. Rats were observed to outperform prairie voles in key aspects of the task including latency to find the platform, directness of swim paths to the platform, and degrees of heading error. These results may be attributed to potential interspecies differences in spatial cognition, stress reactivity, physiology, or motivation. This study provides the foundation for future work investigating the spatial cognition of prairie voles and the factors that contribute to water task performance in rodents.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.bbr.2018.11.032DOI Listing
March 2019

Social Order: Using The Sequential Structure of Social Interaction to Discriminate Abnormal Social Behavior in the Rat.

Learn Motiv 2018 Feb 22;61:41-51. Epub 2017 Mar 22.

Department of Psychology, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM.

Social interactions form the basis of a broad range of functions related to survival and mating. The complexity of social behaviors and the flexibility required for normal social interactions make social behavior particularly susceptible to disruption. The consequences of developmental insults in the social domain and the associated neurobiological factors are commonly studied in rodents. Though methods for investigating social interactions in the laboratory are diverse, animals are typically placed together in an apparatus for a brief period (under 30 min) and allowed to interact freely while behavior is recorded for subsequent analysis. A standard approach to the analysis of social behavior involves quantification of the frequency and duration of individual social behaviors. This approach provides information about the allocation of time to particular behaviors within a session, which is typically sufficient for detection of robust alterations in behavior. Virtually all social species, however, display complex sequences of social behavior that are not captured in the quantification of individual behaviors. Sequences of behavior may provide more sensitive indicators of disruptions in social behavior. Sophisticated analysis systems for quantification of behavior sequences have been available for many years; however, the required training and time to complete these analyses represent significant barriers to high-throughput assessments. We present a simple approach to the quantification of behavioral sequences that requires minimal additional analytical steps after individual behaviors are coded. We implement this approach to identify altered social behavior in rats exposed to alcohol during prenatal development, and show that the frequency of several pairwise sequences of behavior discriminate controls from ethanol-exposed rats when the frequency of individual behaviors involved in those sequences does not. Thus, the approach described here may be useful in detecting subtle deficits in the social domain and identifying neural circuits involved in the organization of social behavior.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.lmot.2017.03.003DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6053068PMC
February 2018

Antisense oligonucleotide therapy rescues disruptions in organization of exploratory movements associated with Usher syndrome type 1C in mice.

Behav Brain Res 2018 02 14;338:76-87. Epub 2017 Oct 14.

Northern Illinois University, Department of Psychology, DeKalb, IL 60115, United States. Electronic address:

Usher syndrome, Type 1C (USH1C) is an autosomal recessive inherited disorder in which a mutation in the gene encoding harmonin is associated with multi-sensory deficits (i.e., auditory, vestibular, and visual). USH1C (Usher) mice, engineered with a human USH1C mutation, exhibit these multi-sensory deficits by circling behavior and lack of response to sound. Administration of an antisense oligonucleotide (ASO) therapeutic that corrects expression of the mutated USH1C gene, has been shown to increase harmonin levels, reduce circling behavior, and improve vestibular and auditory function. The current study evaluates the organization of exploratory movements to assess spatial organization in Usher mice and determine the efficacy of ASO therapy in attenuating any such deficits. Usher and heterozygous mice received the therapeutic ASO, ASO-29, or a control, non-specific ASO treatment at postnatal day five. Organization of exploratory movements was assessed under dark and light conditions at two and six-months of age. Disruptions in exploratory movement organization observed in control-treated Usher mice were consistent with impaired use of self-movement and environmental cues. In general, ASO-29 treatment rescued organization of exploratory movements at two and six-month testing points. These observations are consistent with ASO-29 rescuing processing of multiple sources of information and demonstrate the potential of ASO therapies to ameliorate topographical disorientation associated with other genetic disorders.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.bbr.2017.10.012DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5683898PMC
February 2018

Otolith dysfunction alters exploratory movement in mice.

Behav Brain Res 2017 05 21;325(Pt A):1-11. Epub 2017 Feb 21.

Dept of Psychology, NIU, DeKalb, IL, 60115, United States. Electronic address:

The organization of rodent exploratory behavior appears to depend on self-movement cue processing. As of yet, however, no studies have directly examined the vestibular system's contribution to the organization of exploratory movement. The current study sequentially segmented open field behavior into progressions and stops in order to characterize differences in movement organization between control and otoconia-deficient tilted mice under conditions with and without access to visual cues. Under completely dark conditions, tilted mice exhibited similar distance traveled and stop times overall, but had significantly more circuitous progressions, larger changes in heading between progressions, and less stable clustering of home bases, relative to control mice. In light conditions, control and tilted mice were similar on all measures except for the change in heading between progressions. This pattern of results is consistent with otoconia-deficient tilted mice using visual cues to compensate for impaired self-movement cue processing. This work provides the first empirical evidence that signals from the otolithic organs mediate the organization of exploratory behavior, based on a novel assessment of spatial orientation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.bbr.2017.02.031DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5392231PMC
May 2017