Conclusion

Throughout the past studies, it had been evidenced that alcohol-exposed animals get impaired in learning trace fear conditioning, but show normal delay conditioning because alcohol can affect the development and functioning of the hippocampus.  In some cases, behavioral deficits seen in alcohol-exposed individuals (humans and rodents) can go away with development. Hyperactivity, for example, is seen in animals up through adolescence, but as adults the alcohol-exposed animals are no longer hyperactive. In the very lab I’m involved here at the College, studies had been carried out in the past to show that  impairment in trace conditioning (a hippocampus task)  is persistent in adolescent rats but  their  delay  conditioning(non-hippocampus task) is not affected. However, in the researches carried out, the animals that were tested were all adolescent (about 30 days old).  My summer project was designed to study delay and trace conditioning in fetal alcohol rats that were trained as adults. The purpose of my summer project was to determine if the deficit in trace conditioning persists into adulthood.

[Read more…]

Problems in historiography

Military history has for a long time occupied an uneasy position in the field of historiography. It has never altogether disappeared but it has nevertheless come very far down from its earlier heights. Ancient or traditional historical accounts from Homer to Clarendon focused on military and political history to the exclusion of almost everything else. Modern historians, however, are apt to focus on the sometimes neglected because unglamorous causes of history at the expense of traditional set-piece battle descriptions and campaign narratives. This is on the whole a good development. Historical scholarship has broadened to include far more than the government-level narratives that characterized the work of early historians.  Historians now look deeper beneath the surface for explanation, with the result that modern scholarship has overthrown outdated and incorrect interpretations and is producing an ever more sophisticated understanding of history. But while a small number of historians continue to produce first-class works of military scholarship, the discipline of military history on a whole has become unfairly neglected. An unfortunate side-effect of this neglect is that the public’s considerable appetite for military history is now filled almost exclusively by a wide range of popular works. While many of these works are excellent, others lack the rigorous scholarship demanded by the academy. The whole field of history suffers as a result.

[Read more…]

Scoring

This semester, after being back to the lab from summer, I’d been working in the lab to finish up my unfinished project.  As a measure of learning seen in the alcohol induced adult rats in our lab, we used a process called “scoring”. It is a measure of immobility.  We watched the video tapes from over the summer; and using a stopwatch, recorded how long each rat in the testing box would remain immobile or ‘freeze’ during the exposure of light condition. Specifically, this scoring involved a time sampling procedure which included briefly looking at the animal behavior at a specific time during the test run. For our experiment, we observed the rats every 2 seconds (during that 10s period of light exposure) and so we had a total of five observations. The animals could be freezing or not during the light exposure. Rather than taking a measure of how long the animal froze, we recorded a percentage of freezing for our purpose. For instance, we recorded the freezing as ranging from 0-20-40-60- 80-100% (0seconds to 10seconds) at a time rather than saying it remained in freezing state  for six seconds. We made sure that the recordings we have were just during the light exposure interval, and not the other time.To make sure that the freezing data would be dependable, we recorded the rats behavior  also during a baseline period (as freezing or not) the same way we recorded it during the light interval, and compared them.

[Read more…]