Degree Type

Honors Capstone Project

Date of Submission

Spring 5-1-2014

Capstone Advisor

Donna Korol, Associate Professor of Biology

Honors Reader

Cathryn Newton, Dean Emerita and Professor of Earth Sciences

Capstone Major


Capstone College

Arts and Science

Audio/Visual Component


Capstone Prize Winner


Won Capstone Funding


Honors Categories

Sciences and Engineering

Subject Categories

Biology | Neuroscience and Neurobiology


The formation and storage of memories within the brain remains a subject that is not well understood. The hippocampus has been identified by many studies as a likely center for memory formation (Lynch, 2004), and further research into this subject has begun to suggest that synaptic plasticity in the hippocampus could be partly responsible for the physical changes in the brain, which underlie memory formation. Long Term Potentiation is a form of synaptic plasticity, and is considered to be a physical increase in the strength of connection between neurons or groups of neurons. Much like memories, the duration of a given LTP can last anywhere from minutes to years, depending upon the conditions under which the LTP was induced. Stress, in particular, has been found to either enhance or impair LTP formation, under different conditions. The brain’s response to stress, or any kind of emotional arousal, is in part mediated by the release of the hormone epinephrine. This type of “stress memory”, or epinephrine-mediated memory formation, is important because it could explain the pathological memory formation that is commonly seen in phenomena such as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (Korol and Gold, 2008). Epinephrine release in the periphery has been seen to influence LTP in the hippocampus, however epinephrine itself cannot enter the brain. These experiments served to explore the mechanisms by which epinephrine can act to bidirectionally influence hippocampal LTP through activation of β-adrenergic receptors.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.