The Neurobehavioral Research Symposium brings researchers from the fields of neural and behavioral sciences together to engage and collaborate over a wide variety of research topics. The symposium was organized by a planning committee of CBBRe faculty, and the 2021 event was chaired by Christopher Berghoff, Ph.D., assistant professor of psychology, who oversaw the planning and implementation of the very first hybrid symposium.

Presentations were given by invited speakers that are internationally recognized as experts in their fields, as well as by CBBRe faculty and students. Undergraduate and graduate students were encouraged to present their research at the poster session, including students that have recently completed the Summer Program for Undergraduate Research in Addiction (SPURA).

The 2021 event brought speakers together virtually, and keynote speakers were available for meet-and-greet sessions with the students and USD faculty and staff. Attendees included members of social and behavioral sciences, medical and health sciences, and environmental sciences; and presentations were visited by over 450 viewers with this unique opportunity for engagement.

External invited speakers included:

  • Katherine Dixon-Gordon, Ph.D., from the University of Massachusetts Amherst, Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences, who gave a talk titled ‘Borderline personality disorder: The role of emotions in development, presentation, and treatment.’
  • Dan Capron, Ph.D., from the University of Southern Mississippi, School of Psychology, who gave a talk titled ‘New Directions in Suicide Prevention.’
  • Susan Smith, Ph.D., from the University of North Carolina, Department of Nutrition, who gave a talk titled ‘The Critical Contribution of Nutrition to the Neurodevelopmental Outcomes of FASD.’
  • Michael McDermott, Ph.D., from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, Department of Psychology, who gave a talk titled ‘Emotion regulation in psychological and physical health.’

Three SPURA students were awarded certificates in recognition of outstanding achievement during their posters sessions, and several SPURA students plan to present their research at the Faculty for Undergraduate Neuroscience (FUN) Conference session taking place at the annual Society for Neuroscience Conference (SfN) in Chicago this October.

The students included:

  • First Place: Alexandra (Lexi) Rust, under the mentorship of Lee Baugh, Ph.D., for her presentation titled ‘The role of genetic markers on responses to neuromodulation and craving behavior outcomes: Neuromodulation’s effects on the Go-NoGo task behavior and EEG.’
  • Second Place: Tiffany Knecht, under the mentorship of William Mayhan, Ph.D., for her presentation titled ‘Constrictor responses of cerebral resistance arterioles in male and female rats exposed to alcohol prenatally.’
  • Third Place: John Dohn, under the mentorship of Brian Burrell, Ph.D., for his presentation titled ‘Effects of injury on nociceptive operant conditioning.’

The research symposium is made possible through support from USD, the Sanford School of Medicine, Sanford Health, the Center for Brain and Behavior Research and the National Institute on Drug Abuse, grant number R25-DA033674.

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