Research

Neil Schmitzer-Torbert, Ph.D.
Daniel F. Evans Associate Professor in the Social Sciences
Department of Psychology Chair
Wabash College

My main training is in behavioral/cognitive neuroscience, which deals generally with the question: “How does our brain produce all of our thoughts, feelings, behavior, etc.?” My own research focuses specifically on memory: How do we create and use new memories in the brain?

My goals in the Behavior and Memory Lab is to provide students the opportunity to participate in research on the biology of memory that I am conducting at Wabash College. Students can participate in the lab in several ways (see the list of projects below for brief descriptions of ongoing projects, and the Students page for examples of past student work).

For more information about how to get involved, feel free to stop by my office in Baxter Hall, or to contact me via email.

Ongoing projects:

  • Habit learning in rats: Since 2005, I have been working on a set of experiments testing the ability of addictive drugs, such as cocaine, to influence learning and memory in rats.
  • Instrumental learning in humans: We have been working on video games to test the ability of
  • Navigation: Spatial navigation tests (such as the Morris water maze, the Barnes maze and the radial arm maze) haveĀ been a powerful tool for understanding the biology of memory in nonhuman animals, and part of my interest in virtual navigation is to create analogous tasks for use with humans.
  • Spatial training: Recently, I have been interested in using video games to train people to find their way through virtual environments. Part of this work is done in collaboration with a colleague at McGill University.