James R. Moyer, Jr.
Associate Dean for Social Sciences
Ph.D., Northwestern University, 1992
Key Areas of Interest:
Neurobiology of Learning, Memory, and Aging
Cellular Mechanisms of Neuronal Aging and Neurodegeneration
Our laboratory studies how the brain changes as a function of experience and as a function of the aging process.Our research focuses primarily on brain regions (e.g., prefrontal cortex, medial temporal lobe) that are not only vital for various forms of learning and memory but also are among the most susceptible to aging-related neurodegenerative disorders, including Alzheimer’s disease.Our laboratory is currently engaged in research investigating: (1) prefrontal mechanisms underlying aging-related deficits in extinction of trace fear conditioning, (2) intrinsic and synaptic plasticity as a function of learning and aging, and (3) the role of calcium binding proteins and calcium-dependent processes in aging and susceptibility to neurodegeneration.Behavioral (e.g., acquisition and extinction of Pavlovian fear conditioning), cellular (e.g., use of in vitro models of ischemia to study neurodegeneration), immunohistochemical (e.g., Western blotting, fluorescence and confocal microscopy), and neurophysiological (e.g., whole-cell patch-clamp recordings from visually identified neurons in living brain slices; intracellular and extracellular recordings in living brain slices) techniques are utilized to integrate information across multiple levels of analysis.
Graduate and undergraduate students in my laboratory not only gain experience conducting cutting edge research, but they also have opportunities to present their data at local and international conferences, including the Annual Society for Neuroscience Conference.
Interested students should contact me or visit the lab website (www.uwm.edu/~jrmoyer/) for more information about our research or extramurally funded research opportunities.
Psych 254: Physiological Psychology
Psych 754: Proseminar in Physiological Psychology
Psych 933: Seminar in Neuroscience
Psych 954: Seminar in Physiological Psychology: Neurobiology of Aging
Sehgal, M., Song, C., Ehlers, V. L., and Moyer, J. R., Jr. (2013). Learning to learn – intrinsic excitability as a metaplasticity mechanism for memory formation. Neurobiology of Learning and Memory, 105, 186-199.
Song, C., Detert, J.A., Sehgal, M., and Moyer, J.R., Jr. (2012). Trace fear conditioning enhances synaptic and intrinsic plasticity in rat hippocampus. Journal of Neurophysiology, 107, 3397-3408.
Kaczorowski, C.C., Davis, S.J., and Moyer, J.R., Jr. (2012). Aging redistributes medial prefrontal neuronal excitability and impedes extinction of trace fear conditioning. Neurobiology of Aging, 33, 1744-1757.
Moyer, J.R., Jr., Furtak, S.C., McGann, J.P., and Brown, T.H. (2011). Aging-related changes in calcium-binding proteins in rat perirhinal cortex. Neurobiology of Aging, 32, 1693-1706.
Detert, J.A., Kampa, N.D., and Moyer, J.R., Jr. (2008). Differential effects of varying the training ITI on trace and long-delay fear conditioning. Behavioral Neuroscience, 122, 1318-1327.
Moyer, J.R., Jr. and Brown, T.H. (2007). Visually-guided patch-clamp recordings in brain slices. In: Advanced Techniques for Patch-Clamp Analysis, 3rd ed. (Walz, W., ed.), pp. 169-227, Humana Press, Totowa, NJ.
Furtak, S.C., Moyer, J.R., Jr., and Brown, T.H. (2007). Morphology and ontogeny of rat perirhinal cortical neurons. Journal of Comparative Neurology, 505, 493-510.
Moyer, J.R., Jr. and Brown, T.H. (2006). Impaired trace and contextual fear conditioning in aged rats. Behavioral Neuroscience, 120: 612-624.