Undergraduate Honors Theses

Thesis Defended

Spring 2015

Document Type


Type of Thesis

Departmental Honors


Psychology & Neuroscience

First Advisor

Steven F. Maier

Second Advisor

Michael V. Baratta


The degree of behavioral control that an organism has over a stressor potently modulates the neurochemical and behavioral consequences of that stressor. Many stress-induced outcomes that occur following uncontrollable stress (e.g., exaggerated anxiety, reduced social exploration) do not occur if the identical stressor is controllable. Furthermore, having control over a stressor (time A) also alters an organism’s response to future adverse events (time B), even those that are uncontrollable. Pharmacological studies have identified the prelimbic region (PL) of the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) and the dorsomedial striatum (DMS) as necessary for the short and long-term protective effects of behavioral control. Here, we combine PL-to-DMS pathway labeling with fluorescent retrobeads and immediate-early gene immunostaining in order to determine if the dimension of control selectively activates this pathway at time A and/or time B.