Date of Award




Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Department of Psychology


Behavioral Neuroscience

Content Description

1 online resource (x, 155 pages) : illustrations (some color)

Dissertation/Thesis Chair

Bruce C Dudek

Committee Members

Cristina M Alberini, Christine K Wagner


Autism, Genetics, IGF-II, Imprinting, Learning, Memory, Somatomedin, Autism spectrum disorders

Subject Categories

Biological Psychology | Biology | Psychology


Cognitive and memory impairments significantly affect multiple domains in life and play major roles in disease. Identifying critical mechanisms and factors that mediate memory consolidation and enhancement may represent an important approach for increasing cognition in normal adults and preventing or treating cognitive impairments. The expression of the C/EBP- target gene insulin-like growth factor 2, (IGF-II) is required for memory consolidation; furthermore, IGF-II administration during memory consolidation produces memory enhancement, increased memory persistence and prevents forgetting. In this thesis, I investigated the therapeutic potential of IGF-II to promote memory consolidation when administered systemically. In addition, I investigated one particularly interesting and unique aspect of IGF-II, its status as an imprinted gene, as a possible mechanism for the cognitive enhancing effects of IGF-II. This knowledge is a prerequisite for developing clinical applications that aim at either enhancing cognition or preventing/reversing memory impairment.