Date of Award




Document Type

Master's Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Department of Psychology


Behavioral Neuroscience

Content Description

1 online resource (ii, 56 pages) : illustrations (some color)

Dissertation/Thesis Chair

Ewan C McNay

Committee Members

Christine K Wagner, Bruce C Dudek


hippocampus, memory, neurogenesis, obesity, Roark, Obesity in animals, Animal memory, Hippocampus (Brain), Rats as laboratory animals, Developmental neurobiology

Subject Categories

Neuroscience and Neurobiology


Granule cells are continually produced in the dentate gyrus of the hippocampus throughout life. These new neurons integrate into the local circuitry and contribute to hippocampal function. Insulin directly affects hippocampal function and may also influence the process of adult neurogenesis. Some of the cognitive deficits that occur in Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus (T2DM) and Alzheimer's disease (AD) may be caused by hyperinsulinemia and systemic insulin resistance. Sedentary lifestyles combined with over-consumption of energy rich foods are responsible for the rising incidence of metabolic syndrome and chronic obesity, both of which represent major risk factors for T2DM and AD. Therefore, it is increasingly important to understand the metabolic mechanisms that contribute to cognitive decline. This study examines the long-term effects of high fat diet-induced obesity on the survival of adult-born neurons and the potential relationship with hippocampal dependent behavior.