Prof. Cousens’ research utilizes electrophysiological and behavioral techniques to examine how the brain represents sensory information and how it maintains information over time. Areas of research interest include olfactory learning and memory, emotional processes, and addiction.
Ph.D., Psychology, Rutgers University, 2001 M.A., Psychology, Rutgers University, 1998 B.A., Psychology; Rutgers University, 1994 Post-doctoral Fellow, Yale School of Medicine and UCSF.
Cognitive Neuroscience Learning and Behavior Neuroscience Research Methods The Psychology of Music The Global Burden of Mental Illness Models of Addiction
Hesp, ZC, Cousens, GA, Becker, L, Zee, MC, & Mickley, GA (2016). Nu Rho Psi, The national honor society in neuroscience: A decade of progress. Journal of Undergraduate Neuroscience Education, 14(2), e9-12.
Cousens, GA, Kearns, A, Laterza, F, & Tundidor, J (2012). Excitotoxic lesions of the medial amygdala attenuate olfactory fear-potentiated startle and conditioned freezing behavior. Behavioural Brain Research, 229(2), 427-32.
Cousens, GA, Skrobacz*, CG, & Blumenthal*, A (2011). Nucleus accumbens carbachol disrupts olfactory and contextual fear-potentiated startle and attenuates baseline startle reactivity. Behavioural Brain Research, 216, 673-80.
The three pathological hallmarks of Alzheimer’s Disease (AD) are senile plaques, neurofibrillary tangles, and neuronal loss. However, the biochemical pathways that link plaques and tangles to neuronal degeneration are unclear. In our laboratory, students choose research projects that focus on trying to elucidate these pathways and to identify novel targets to protect neurons. Examples of projects include: modifying of receptor activation that can protect neurons from damage; use of growth factors to enhance neuronal health; and altering immune cell activity to promote healthier responses.
Ph.D., Neuroscience, Harvard University, 1996 B.S., Human Factors, West Point, 1986 Post-doctoral Fellow, Harvard University, 1996-1998
Introduction to Neuroscience Cell and Molecular Neurobiology Diseases of the Brain
Laura Frese*, Barbara Petrack, Ron Samia, Gillian Bradley*, Eric Law, and Roger Knowles: Secreted factors of rat placental derived adherent stem cells attenuate inflammatory response of LPS activated glia. The New York Stem Cell Foundation’s Translational Stem Cell Research Conference at Rockefeller University, 1230 York Avenue, New York on October 10-11th, 2012.
Katherine LaClair*, Barbara Petrack, and Roger Knowles: Examination of mitochondrial dynamics in a cellular model of Alzheimer’s disease and the evaluation of methylene blue as a potential disease modifying treatment. Northeast Undergraduate Research Organization for Neuroscience (NEURON), NYC, April 24, 2010.
Le, R., Cruz, L., Urbanc, B., Knowles, R.B., Hsiao-Ashe, K., Duff, K., Irizarry, M., Stanley, H.E., and Hyman, B.T. (2001) Plaque-induced abnormalities in neurite geometry in transgenic models of Alzheimer Disease: Implications for neural system disruption. Journal of Neuropathology and Experimental Neurology 60: 753-758.
* Denotes Drew undergraduate authors
At each moment of our lives, we are constantly engaged in the complex task of detecting and recognizing objects. Each day brings similar, but never-identical sensory experiences, and our brain has to find the underlying constancy, such as the identity of a person, from the continually-changing stream of sensory inputs. Our brain solves this computational problem (and some more) rapidly and reliably. How does our brain accomplish this task? Dr. Kouh’s laboratory studies such marvelous information-processing capability of the cortex, by building computational models and doing gaze-tracking experiments.Education
Ph.D. and B.S., Physics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 2007 and 1997 M.A., University of California at Berkeley, 1999 Post-doctoral Fellow, The Salk Institute for Biological Studies, 2007-2009
Computational Modeling of Neural Systems Theories about Vision
I am interested in exploring how various central neurotransmitter systems are affected by pharmacological and environmental manipulations, and how these changes, in turn, are related to behavior. My research has focused on the biological consequences of stress and the neurochemical effects of drugs of abuse. Recent theories have emerged which suggest that both stress and drugs of abuse activate certain common pathways within the brain, while chronic exposure to either stimulus can lead to long-lasting changes in the responsiveness of these pathways.
Our laboratory examines the effects of stress and drugs of abuse on neurotransmitter release in these pathways and attempts to correlate the neurochemical changes with observable behaviors. Investigation of neurochemical changes in response to these stimuli may provide clues about the neural circuitry underlying the behaviors and physiological states associated with drug addiction and stress-related mental illnesses.