Independent Minds, Working Together
Amy Jo Stavnezer

Amy Jo Stavnezer

Associate Professor - Department Chair

Department/Affiliation: Neuroscience, Psychology
Phone: 330-263-2215
Office Address: 301B Morgan Hall
Email
Website

Degrees

  • B.S., Allegheny College (Psychology) 1994
  • M.S., University of Connecticut (Biobehavioral Sciences and Neuroscience)1998
  • Ph.D., University of Connecticut (Biobehavioral Sciences and Neuroscience) 2000

Courses Taught

  • PSYC 340: Drugs and Behavior
  • NEUR 323: Behavioral Neuroscience
  • NEUR 323L: Behavioral Neuroscience Lab
  • NEUR 451: Independent Study Thesis
  • Introduction to Psychology
  • Human Neuropsychology
  • Neuroscience of Learning and Memory
  • First Year Seminar: Psychology and Propaganda of Advertising
  • The Coffee Course

Areas of Research

I am a behavioral neuroscientist and work mainly with mice and rats. My areas of research interest include sex difference in performance on complex learning tasks and I have investigated the influence of both gonadal hormones and sex chromosomes on those differences, the impact of environmental influences (could be contaminants or stressors) on learning, memory and disease processes, and in better assessing rodent tasks and their extrapolation to humans.

I.S. Project

2011-12:

  • Nikkisha A. Baugh: The Effects of Curcumin on a C57BL/6J Mouse Model of Thiamine Deficiency Induced Wernicke-Korsakoff Syndrome.
  • Ashley Dawes: An Investigation of the Effects of Estrogen on Anxiety and Hippocampal-Dependent Fear Conditioning.
  • Priscilla Haug: The Effects of Chronic and Intermittent Stress on the Acceleration of Alzheimer's Disease in Mice.
  • Rebecca Haug: The Effects of Swimming on the Behavioral and Neurochemical Deficits in a Rat Model of Parkinson’s Disease.
  • Rebecca Lang: The Effects of PerinatalExposure to Endocrine-Disrupting Chemicals on Behavioral and Cellular Responses.
  • Matthew J. Mandell: The Roles of the Gonadotropins, Luteinizing Hormone and Follicle Stimulating Hormone, In Normal Age-Related Cognitive Decline.
  • Kelsey Peters: Distinguishing between the influence of gonadal hormones and sex chromosomes on sexual dimorphisms in the cortex through use of the four core genotypes model.
  • Meredith Shaul: Internalization measures not influenced by media image presentation: an examination of female athletes and non-athletes.
  • Matthew Smith: An Assessment of the Neuroprotective Efficacy of NGP1-01 on Reducing and Mediating Gliosis, Immunoimflammatory Response, and Neuronal Cell Death After Traumatic Brain Injury (collaborative project with faculty at Northeast Ohio Medical University).
  • Elysse Wadman: The Impact of Perinatal Exposure to Polychlorinated Biphenyls and Bisphenol A on Learning and Memory in Mice.

2010-11:

  • Taryn Aubrecht: To regulate or not to regulate your hormones? The involvement of gonadotropins in the development of Alzheimer’s disease.
  • Carolyn Cahill:  Exploring the Roots of Autism: Neurobiological differences between BTBR t+tf/J and C57Bl/6J mice.
  • Michelle Mate:  Context-specific tolerance to ethanol in C57Bl/6J mice: an application of Shepard Seigel’s model.
  • Matthew McCaslin: Progesterone and Alzheimer’s disease: treatment effect on behavioral tests in transgenic mice.
  • Philip Pie:  The golden section and the effects of harmonic logo design on brand recall.
  • Aisha St. Cyr: The effects of country and techno musical mood induction on the ability to recall.

2009-2010:

  • Henry Cook:  Social Kombat in Video Games: Interacting With Others While Playing Violent Video Games May Reduce Levels of Aggression and Frustration.
  • Rachel Gaines: Feel What You Eat: The Emotional, Psychological, and Physiological Responses to Ingestion of Healthy and Unhealthy Food Stimuli in Unrestrained Males and Females.
  • Hilary Hicks: Conditioning of Caffeine-Induced Behavior in Rats: An Application of Shephard Siegel's Model
  • Ryan Radtke: An Examination of the Effects of Swimming Exercise on Learning in Mice
  • Ashita Gurnani: Are You Caffeinated Enough?  Effect of a low versus a high dosage of chronic  caffeine treatment on Alzheimer's Disease related behavior and pathology.
  • Laetitia Mwilambwe:  No Sex Differences in the Effects of Caffeinie on Learning and Memory in Seven Month Old APPswe/PS1de9 Transgenic Mice.
  • Katrina Wojciechowski:  Can CocaCola Prevent Alzheimer's Disease?  An Assessment of Caffeine of Behavioral Deficits, Amyloid-Beta, and Beta Secretase1 Levels in an Alzheimer's Disease Mouse Model.

2009:

  • Sarah L. Garcia- The Effect of Disrupted Circadian Rhythms on Episodic and Procedural Memory
  • Skye K. Gillispie- Tension-Reduction Hypothesis: The Effects of Anxiety and Restraint Stress on Ethanol Consumption in Female Rats.
  • Natalee A. Noche- Does Prenatal and Postnatal Restraint Stress Have an Affect on Anxiety in CD-1 Mice?
  • Rebecca Thomas- The Effects of Treadmill Exercise on the Progression of Alzheimer's Disease in a Transgenic Mouse Model
  • Pauline Weigand- Examining a Preventative Treatment for Alzheimer's Disease: Exercise Enrichment Induces Cell Genesis in the Hippocampal Dentate Gyrus but Does Not Enhance Spatial Learning and Memory in Mice

2007:

  • Salim Abboud- Eicosapentaenoic acid does not reduce immobility in the mouse forced swim test
  • Allison Cutlip- Not so 'traditional': Sexual script utilization in female college students
  • Kelly Goss- Put yourself in someone else's shoes: The effect of having a social identity on empathizing with a bully or victim
  • Yehyun Kim- The effect of endogenous ovarian estrogen on fear memory consolidation in female rats using a Pavlovian fear conditioning paradigm
  • Kenny Thomas- Testing tramadol for antidepressant efficacy using the rat forced swim test

2006:

  • Matt Buzby- Competition in video games: A factor other than violence that may be linked to aggression
  • Meredity Dykstra- You are what you ate: A retrospective study of early-life predictors of dietary restraint in Caucasian and African American College Women.
  • Sarah Hess- The effects of the Y chromosome and testosterone on aggression in sex-reversed mice.
  • Amanda Kravochuck- The relationship between codependency, parental parenting style, and intimate opposite-sex mate choice among college women.
  • Sarah Reynolds- Suppression of anger leads to relational aggression in early adolescent girls.
  • Alissa Schmidt- The relationship between high school students' self-monitoring and gender identity to academic achievement and their perception of valuable qualities in peers.
  • Jessica Ward- The effect of art therapy on self-esteem and short term memory performance in the elderly

Awards and Professional Memberships

  • Councilor for Faculty for Undergraduate Neuroscience, 2010-2012.
  • Awarded an Equipment Loan from the Faculty for Undergraduate Neuroscience for a 2-year loan of the Noldus Ethovision software and hardware to visually track and analyze rodent learning and behavior.
  • 2008, 2009 &  2010: Served as a Reader for the Advanced Placement Psychology exam, which involves reading the free response questions and scoring them for a week each summer. This year there were 175,000 exams!

Publications

Books and Papers

  • Evert, D., Goodwin, G., & Stavnezer, A.J. (2005). Integration of computer technology into an introductory level neuroscience laboratory. Teaching and Psychology, 32(1), 69-73.
  • Stoelzel, C.R., Stavnezer, A.J., Deneberg, V.H., Ward, M., Markus, E.J. (2002). The effects of aging and dorsal hippocampal lesions: Performance on spatial and nonspatial comparable versions of the water maze. Neurobiology of Learning & Memory, 78(2), 217-233.
  • Stavnezer, A.J., Hyde, L.A., Bimonte, H.A., Armstrong, C.M., & Denenberg, V.H. ((2002) Differential learning strategies in spatial and nonspatial versions of the Morris water maze in the C57BL/6J inbred mouse strain. Behavioural Brain Research, 133, 261-270.
  • Hyde, L.A., Stavenzer, A.J., Bimonte, H.A., Sherman, G.F., & Denenberg, V.H. (2002). Spatial and nonspatial Morris maze learning: impaired behavioral flexibility in mice with ectopias located in the prefrontal cortex. Behavioural Brain Research, 133, 247-259.
  • Stavnezer, A.J., McDowell, C.S., Hyde, L.A., Bimonte, H.A., Balogh, S.A., Hoplight, B.J., & Denenberg, V.H. (2000). Spatial ability of XY sex-reversed female mice. Behavioural Brain Research, 112(1-2), 135-143.
  • Hyde, L.A., Sherman, G.F., Stavnezer, A.J., & Denenberg, V.H. (2000). The effects of neocortical ectopias on Lashley III water maze learaning in NZB mice. Brain Research, 887(2), 482-483.
  • Bimonte, H.A., Mack, C.M., Stavnezer, A.J., & Denenberg, V.H. (2000). Ovarian hormones can organize the rat corpus collosum in adulthood. Development Brain Research, 121(2), 169-177.
  • Balogh, S.A., McDowell, C.S., Stavnezer, A.J., & Denenberg, V.H. (1999). A behavioral and neuroanatomical assessment of an inbred substrain of 129 mice with behavioral comparisons to C57BL/J6 mice. Brain Research, 836, 38-48.
  • Mack, C.M., Fitch, R.H., Hyde, L.A., Seaman, A.J., Bimonte, H.A., Wei, W., & Denenberg, V.H. (1996). Lack of activational influence of ovarian hormones on the size of the female rat's corpus callosum. Physiology and Behavior, 60.

Presentations

  • Stavnezer, A.J., Lang, R.*, Wadman, E.*, & Fenster, C.P. (Nov. 2011). Effects of perinatal PCB and BPA on neuroendocrine and behavioral responses. Annual Society for Neuroscience Conference, 190.12, Washington, DC.
  • Stavnezer, A.J., Lang, R.I.*, Wadman, E.* & Fenster, C.P. (2011).  Effects of perinatal PCB and BPA on neuroendocrine and behavioral responses.  Society for Neuroscience Abstracts, 190.12.
  • Stavnezer, A.J., Weigand, P.K.*, Burden, C.E.*, & Wright, E.N.* (2008). Correlation between maternal anogenital licking and adult maze learning in mice. Society for Neuroscience Abstracts, 281.25.
  • Wright, E.N.*, Stavnezer, A.J., & Thompson, C.R. (2008). Maternal care in sex-reversed mice. Society for Neuroscience Abstracts, 795.21.
  • Stavnezer, A.J. & Wright, E.N.* (2007). No sex chromosome effect on spatial ability or aggression in sex-reversed mice. Association for Psychological Science Conference.
  • Wright, E.N.* & Stavnezer, A.J. (2007). Further evidence of sex differences in activity levels and spatial ability in C57BL/6J mice. Association for Psychological Science Conference.
  • Stavnezer, A.J. & Kim, Y.* (2007).  Increased eestrogen during proestrous decreses dreezing during contextual fear conditioning in normally cycling female rats. Society for Neuroscience Abstracts, 309.9.
  • Gaines, R.*, Becker, L.*, Weigand, P.*, & Stavnezer, A.J. (2007). The effect of sex chromosomes on activity and cognitive measures in sex-reversed mice.  Faculty for Undergraduate Neuroscience poster session during the Society for Neuroscience conference.
  • Weigand, P.*, Gaines, R.*, Stavnezer, A.J., & Neuhoff, J. (2007). Auditory perception and spatial ability across menstrual cycle. Faculty for Undergraduate Neuroscience poster session during the Society for Neuroscience conference.
  • Stavnezer, A.J., Hess, S.*, & Segovis, C.* (2005). Further exploration of gender phenotype and sex chromosome influences on rodent spatial learning. Society for Neuroscience Abstracts, 778.7.
  • Arora, A.* & Stavnezer, A.J. (2004). Performance of NR2B Transgenic Mice on Two Versions of the Hebb-Williams Apparatus. Society for Neuroscience Abstracts, 28.
  • Stavnezer, A.J. (2004). incorporating Neuroscience Examples into Introduction to Psychology. National Institute on the Teaching of Psychology Conference.
  • Evert, D. Goodwin, G., & Stavnezer, A.J. (2002). Presentation of an Introductory Level Neuroscience Course with Interactive Lab. National Institute on the Teaching of Psychology Conference.
  • Stavnezer, A.J., & Denenberg, V.H. (2000). Sex differences in spatial working memory in the C57BL/6J mouse strain. Society for Neuroscience Abstracts,26, 2245.
  • Stavnezer, A.J., Galle, K.T.*, Balogh, S.A., & Denenberg, V.H. (1999). A behavioral and neuroanatomical characterization of the 129/J inbred mouse strain. Society for Neuroscience Abstracts, 25, 640.
  • Stoelzel, C.R.*, Stavnezer, A.J., Marchillo, S., Carlson, J., Denenberg, V.H., & Markus, E.J. (1999). A reference water maze task comparable in difficulty to the Morris maze: effects of age and hippocampal lesions. Society for Neuroscience Abstracts, 25, 1627.
  • Stavnezer, A.J., Hyde, L.A., & Denenberg, V.H. (1998). A new non-spatial version of the Morris water maze: using intra-maze patterned cues, not a visible platform. Society for Neuroscience Abstracts, 24, 439.
  • Stanezer, A.J., McDowell, C.S., Balogh, S.A., Bimonte, H.A., McGivern, R.F., & Denenberg, V.H. (1998). Independent effects of testosterone and the Y chromosome on spatial learning. Brain Research, 809, A31.
  • Bimonte, H.A., Stavnezer, A.J., & Denenberg, V.H. (1998). The sensitive window for ovarian hormone effects on the rat corpus callosum extends post-pubertally. Society for Neuroscience Abstracts, 24, 548.