Amy Jo Stavnezer

Amy Jo Stavnezer

Professor - Neuroscience [Department Chair], Psychology

Office: Williams 081
Phone: 330-263-2215
Pronouns: She/Her/Hers

Senior Seminar Group Performance Assessment

National Science Foundation Research Experience for Undergraduate opportunity

How to Ask For a Letter of Recommendation (.docx)


  • 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 100: Introduction to Psychology
  • PSYC 323: Behavioral Neuroscience with Lab
  • PSYC 345: Drugs and Behavior
  • NEUR 200: Introduction to Neuroscience
  • NEUR 385: Integrative Neuroscience Senior Seminar
  • Sex Differences in the Brain and Behavior
  • Neuroscience of Learning and Memory
  • First Year Seminar

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


  • Leighton Albrecht. The Science of Forgetful Mothers: Determining the Long-Term of Parity on the Hippocampal Cholinergic System in Female Rats
  • Elise Black: Hakuna Fermata: Music's Anxiolytic Effect on Chronic Stress in Sprague Dawley Rats
  • Jordan Kindinger: Go to Sleep: A Comparison Between Spontaneous-Hypertensive Rodents and Sprague-Dawley Rodents' Performances in a Spontaneous Alternation Task after Short-Term Sleep Deprivation
  • Erin O'Leary: Performance on the 5 Choice Serial Reaction Time Task Following Treatment with Frequency Specific Microcurrent in the Spontaneously Hypertensive Rat
  • Matea Paveskovic: Cellular and Molecular Mechanisms of Radiation-induced Neurocognitive Impairments


  • Noah Armstrong: The Role of PKA and Cyclic AMP During Sleep Deprivation in Drosophila Melanogaster
  • Dan (Fred) Coplin: Generational Effects of d-amphetamine on ADHD-like Behaviors  
  • Natalie Coschigano: Examination of the Effects of High Level Zinc Exposure on Alzheimer's Disease Related Memory in Mice      
  • Megan Mey: Impact of Hormone Replacement Therapy on Basal Forebrain Driven Tasks and Choline Acetyltransferase Expression in a Rodent Multiparous and Nulliparous Menopause Model
  • Katherine Wilson: The Effects of neonatal MK-801 on conditioned place preference of nicotine reward


  • Alexandra Desotelle: The effects of Chronic Mild Stress and Duloxetine on Learning and Memory           
  • Haylie Honn: The Effects of Voluntary Exercise and Omega-3 Supplementation on Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder in Spontaneously Hypertensive Rats
  • William Walker Maghie:  The Role of TREM2 on Microglial Morphology and Synaptic Pruning in the Developing Brain of TREM2 Deficient Mice           
  • Taylor Raybuck:  Blue Light at Night Corticosterone: Disrupting Rodent Learning and Memory  
  • Kathryn Reindel:  Turn Off the Light: An Examination of Sex Differences in the Effects of Light at Night on Working Memory in a Nocturnal Rat Model
  • Emily Wilson:  The Effects of Environmental and Physical Enrichment on the Motor Functioning and Cellular Plasticity in a Rat Model of Parkinson's Disease   
  • Jamie Wren-Jarvis:  Effects of Allopregnanolone on Forced Swim Behavior Across Different Phases of the Female Rodent Estrous Cycle


  • Sharla Dean: Effects of Dietary Omega-3 Supplementation During Early Development on Learning and Memory in Adulthood in a Rat Model
  • Colleen Kill: An Investigation on the Effect of Long-term and Short-term Lisdexamfetamine Dimesylate and Acute Exercise Treatment on Spatial Learning and Memory and Anxiety Levels in Adolescent Rats
  • Christopher Munoz: Lack of Effects of Vitamin C in Combination with MSG and ASM on Learning of Periadolescent Mice
  • Hannah Redding: Hopelessness and Anxiety are Suggested to Decrease in Depression Induced by Tryptophan Depletion When Combined with Voluntary Exercise in a Rat Model
  • Rachel Wortman: The Therapeutic Effects of Environmental and Physical Enrichment on Motor Behavior Function in a Rat Model of Parkinson's Disease


  • 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.


  • 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.


  • 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.


  • 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


  • 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


  • 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

  • Awarded a National Science Foundation Research Experience for Undergraduates grant for 2016-2018, to support 4 undergraduate research students each summer, and to collaborate with Ohio Wesleyan University, Earlham College and Kenyon College. President of Faculty for Undergraduate Neuroscience.
  • Awarded a Great Lakes Colleges Association Expanding Collaboration Initiative Proposal titled: Summer teaching, learning and professional development seminars for Neuroscience faculty and their research students ($11,300).
  • Elected as Secretary of Faculty for Undergraduate Neuroscience, November 2013
  • Associate Editor of the Journal for Undergraduate Neuroscience Education
  • 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!


Books and Papers

  • Yates, J.R. & Stavnezer, A.J. (2014). Engaging Undergraduate Summer Research Students and Faculty in a Regional Neuroscience Network.Journal of Undergraduate Neuroscience Education, 13(1), A45-A51.
  • Kirchner, M.*, & Stavnezer, A.J. (2014). Activation of CB1 Receptors May Provide an Effective Treatment for Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. IMPULSE (The Premier Journal for Undergraduate Publications in the Neurosciences).
  • Karaszia, B. T. Stavnezer, A.J, & Reeves, J.* (2013) Graduate admissions in Clinical Neuropsychology: The importance of undergraduate training.Archives of Clinical Neuropsychology28, 711-720.
  • 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.


  • Stavnezer, A.J. & Kirchner, M.* (2013).  Activation of CB1 receptors decreases marble burying and is unaffected by co-administered 5HT antagonist.  Society for Neuroscience Abstracts.
  • Stavnezer, A.J. & Peters, K.* (2012).  Sex differences in cortical thickness influenced assessed in the four core genotype mouse model. Society for Neuroscience Abstracts, 90.20.
  • 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., 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.