Lauren Donohue, '21, is a Psychology major with minors in Sports Studies and Exercise Science and Film Studies. She is a Senior Fellow in the Admissions Office and is working on a SYE that is an extension of her summer fellowship. She hopes to go to graduate school and one day be a Psychology Professor or something surrounding that field. She is a captain of the Women's Varsity Volleyball team and spends her free time writing articles for the HerCampus online women's magazine.
Spatial cognition in rats has long been a model system used to explore links between neural encoding of the environment and behavior. Remarkably, however, little is known about how animals and humans navigate in three-dimensional (3D) spaces. This summer I plan to investigate the role of the hippocampus in processing vertical space. The hippocampus is a brain structure well-known to be involved in learning and memory, especially spatial memory. However, it is not clear whether the hippocampus is used to process the vertical aspects of space. My summer research fellowship will hopefully answer this question through a literature review. The fellowship will consist of studying online lectures and looking at published journals surrounding these topics. There will be an opportunity to complete an online training course for handling lab animals. There will also be an opportunity to learn how to use the Ref Works software. There will be online meetings throughout the fellowship that will allow for group interactions discussing these journal articles. A final literature review will be finished at the end of this fellowship.