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ASU Electronic Theses and Dissertations


This collection includes most of the ASU Theses and Dissertations from 2011 to present. ASU Theses and Dissertations are available in downloadable PDF format; however, a small percentage of items are under embargo. Information about the dissertations/theses includes degree information, committee members, an abstract, supporting data or media.

In addition to the electronic theses found in the ASU Digital Repository, ASU Theses and Dissertations can be found in the ASU Library Catalog.

Dissertations and Theses granted by Arizona State University are archived and made available through a joint effort of the ASU Graduate College and the ASU Libraries. For more information or questions about this collection contact or visit the Digital Repository ETD Library Guide or contact the ASU Graduate College at gradformat@asu.edu.


Date Range
2011 2019


Alzheimer’s disease (AD), is a chronic neurodegenerative disease that usually starts slowly and gets worse over time. It is the cause of 60% to 70% of cases of dementia. There is growing interest in identifying brain image biomarkers that help evaluate AD risk pre-symptomatically. High-dimensional non-linear pattern classification methods have been applied to structural magnetic resonance images (MRI’s) and used to discriminate between clinical groups in Alzheimers progression. Using Fluorodeoxyglucose (FDG) positron emission tomography (PET) as the pre- ferred imaging modality, this thesis develops two independent machine learning based patch analysis methods and uses them to perform six binary classification …

Contributors
Srivastava, Anant, Wang, Yalin, Bansal, Ajay, et al.
Created Date
2017

Dopamine (DA) is a neurotransmitter involved in attention, goal oriented behavior, movement, reward learning, and short term and working memory. For the past four decades, mathematical and computational modeling approaches have been useful in DA research, and although every modeling approach has limitations, a model is an efficient way to generate and explore hypotheses. This work develops a model of DA dynamics in a representative, single DA neuron by integrating previous experimental, theoretical and computational research. The model consists of three compartments: the cytosol, the vesicles, and the extracellular space and forms the basis of a new mathematical paradigm for …

Contributors
Tello-Bravo, David, Crook, Sharon M, Greenwood, Priscilla E, et al.
Created Date
2012

Serotonin 1B receptors (5-HT1BRs) are a novel target for developing pharmacological therapies to reduce psychostimulant craving. 5-HT1BRs are expressed in the mesolimbic pathway projecting from the ventral tegmental area (VTA) to the nucleus accumbens (NAc), which is involved in reward and motivation. 5-HT1BR agonists modulate both cocaine- and methamphetamine-seeking behaviors in rat models of psychostimulant craving. In this dissertation, I tested the central hypothesis that 5-HT1BRs regulate cocaine and methamphetamine stimulant and rewarding effects in mice. I injected mice daily with cocaine for 20 days and then tested them 20 days after their last injection. The results showed that the …

Contributors
Der-Ghazarian, Taleen, Neisewander, Janet, Olive, Foster, et al.
Created Date
2018

Patients with Alzheimer's disease (AD) exhibit a significantly higher incidence of unprovoked seizures compared to age-matched non-AD controls, and animal models of AD (i.e., transgenic human amyloid precursor protein, hAPP mice) display neural hyper-excitation and epileptic seizures. Hyperexcitation is particularly important because it contributes to the high incidence of epilepsy in AD patients as well as AD-related synaptic deficits and neurodegeneration. Given that there is significant amyloid-β (Aβ) accumulation and deposition in AD brain, Aβ exposure ultimately may be responsible for neural hyper-excitation in both AD patients and animal models. Emerging evidence indicates that α7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (α7-nAChR) are …

Contributors
Liu, Qiang, Wu, Jie, Lukas, Ronald J, et al.
Created Date
2011

Dendrites are the structures of a neuron specialized to receive input signals and to provide the substrate for the formation of synaptic contacts with other cells. The goal of this work is to study the activity-dependent mechanisms underlying dendritic growth in a single-cell model. For this, the individually identifiable adult motoneuron, MN5, in Drosophila melanogaster was used. This dissertation presents the following results. First, the natural variability of morphological parameters of the MN5 dendritic tree in control flies is not larger than 15%, making MN5 a suitable model for quantitative morphological analysis. Second, three-dimensional topological analyses reveals that different parts …

Contributors
Vonhoff, Fernando Jaime, Duch, Carsten J, Smith, Brian H, et al.
Created Date
2012

Stroke remains a leading cause of adult disability in the United States. In recent studies, chronic vagus nerve stimulation (VNS) has been proven to enhance functional recovery when paired with motor rehabilitation training after stroke. Other studies have also demonstrated that delivering VNS during the onset of a stroke may elicit some neuroprotective effects as observed in remaining neural tissue and motor function. While these studies have demonstrated the benefits of VNS as a treatment or therapy in combatting stroke damage, the mechanisms responsible for these effects are still not well understood or known. The aim of this research was …

Contributors
Okada, Kristen Yuri, Kleim, Jeffrey A, Si, Jennie, et al.
Created Date
2019

In the last 15 years, there has been a significant increase in the number of motor neural prostheses used for restoring limb function lost due to neurological disorders or accidents. The aim of this technology is to enable patients to control a motor prosthesis using their residual neural pathways (central or peripheral). Recent studies in non-human primates and humans have shown the possibility of controlling a prosthesis for accomplishing varied tasks such as self-feeding, typing, reaching, grasping, and performing fine dexterous movements. A neural decoding system comprises mainly of three components: (i) sensors to record neural signals, (ii) an algorithm …

Contributors
Padmanaban, Subash, Greger, Bradley, Santello, Marco, et al.
Created Date
2017

Exome sequencing was used to identify novel variants linked to amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), in a family without mutations in genes previously linked to ALS. A F115C mutation in the gene MATR3 was identified, and further examination of other ALS kindreds identified an additional three mutations in MATR3; S85C, P154S and T622A. Matrin 3 is an RNA/DNA binding protein as well as part of the nuclear matrix. Matrin 3 interacts with TDP-43, a protein that is both mutated in some forms of ALS, and found in pathological inclusions in most ALS patients. Matrin 3 pathology, including mislocalization and rare cytoplasmic …

Contributors
Boehringer, Ashley, Bowser, Robert, Liss, Julie, et al.
Created Date
2018

Cell morphology and the distribution of voltage gated ion channels play a major role in determining a neuron's firing behavior, resulting in the specific processing of spatiotemporal synaptic input patterns. Although many studies have provided insight into the computational properties arising from neuronal structure as well as from channel kinetics, no comprehensive theory exists which explains how the interaction of these features shapes neuronal excitability. In this study computational models based on the identified Drosophila motoneuron (MN) 5 are developed to investigate the role of voltage gated ion channels, the impact of their densities and the effects of structural features. …

Contributors
Berger, Sandra Daniela, Crook, Sharon, Baer, Steven, et al.
Created Date
2014

This dissertation proposes a new set of analytical methods for high dimensional physiological sensors. The methodologies developed in this work were motivated by problems in learning science, but also apply to numerous disciplines where high dimensional signals are present. In the education field, more data is now available from traditional sources and there is an important need for analytical methods to translate this data into improved learning. Affecting Computing which is the study of new techniques that develop systems to recognize and model human emotions is integrating different physiological signals such as electroencephalogram (EEG) and electromyogram (EMG) to detect and …

Contributors
Lujan Moreno, Gustavo A., Runger, George C, Atkinson, Robert K, et al.
Created Date
2017

Alzheimer's Disease (AD) is a debilitating neurodegenerative disease. The disease leads to dementia and loss of cognitive functions and affects about 4.5 million people in the United States. It is the 7th leading cause of death and is a huge financial burden on the healthcare industry. There are no means of diagnosing the disease before neurodegeneration is significant and sadly there is no cure that controls its progression. The protein beta-amyloid or Aâ plays an important role in the progression of the disease. It is formed from the cleavage of the Amyloid Precursor Protein by two enzymes - â and …

Contributors
Boddapati, Shanta, Sierks, Michael, Arizona State University
Created Date
2011

Alzheimer’s Disease (AD) and Frontotemporal Dementia (FTD) are the leading causes of early onset dementia. There are currently no ways to slow down progression, to prevent or cure AD and FTD. Both AD and FTD share a lot of the symptoms and pathology. Initial symptoms such as confusion, memory loss, mood swings and behavioral changes are common in both these dementia subtypes. Neurofibrillary tau tangles and intraneuronal aggregates of TAR DNA Binding Protein 43 (TDP-43) are also observed in both AD and FTD. Hence, FTD cases are often misdiagnosed as AD due to a lack of accurate diagnostics. Prior to …

Contributors
Venkataraman, Lalitha, Sierks, Michael R, Dunckley, Travis, et al.
Created Date
2018

As the application of interactive media systems expands to address broader problems in health, education and creative practice, they fall within a higher dimensional space for which it is inherently more complex to design. In response to this need an emerging area of interactive system design, referred to as experiential media systems, applies hybrid knowledge synthesized across multiple disciplines to address challenges relevant to daily experience. Interactive neurorehabilitation (INR) aims to enhance functional movement therapy by integrating detailed motion capture with interactive feedback in a manner that facilitates engagement and sensorimotor learning for those who have suffered neurologic injury. While …

Contributors
Lehrer, Nicole, Rikakis, Thanassis, Rikakis, Thanassis, et al.
Created Date
2014

Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a developmental neuropsychiatric condition with early childhood onset, thus most research has focused on characterizing brain function in young individuals. Little is understood about brain function differences in middle age and older adults with ASD, despite evidence of persistent and worsening cognitive symptoms. Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) in younger persons with ASD demonstrate that large-scale brain networks containing the prefrontal cortex are affected. A novel, threshold-selection-free graph theory metric is proposed as a more robust and sensitive method for tracking brain aging in ASD and is compared against five well-accepted graph theoretical analysis methods …

Contributors
Catchings, Michael Thomas, Braden, Brittany B, Greger, Bradley, et al.
Created Date
2019

Recent new experiments showed that wide-field imaging at millimeter scale is capable of recording hundreds of neurons in behaving mice brain. Monitoring hundreds of individual neurons at a high frame rate provides a promising tool for discovering spatiotemporal features of large neural networks. However, processing the massive data sets is impossible without automated procedures. Thus, this thesis aims at developing a new tool to automatically segment and track individual neuron cells. The new method used in this study employs two major ideas including feature extraction based on power spectral density of single neuron temporal activity and clustering tree to separate …

Contributors
Wu, Ruofan, Si, Jennie, Sadleir, Rosalind, et al.
Created Date
2016

The unique anatomical and functional properties of vasculature determine the susceptibility of the spinal cord to ischemia. The spinal cord vascular architecture is designed to withstand major ischemic events by compensating blood supply via important anastomotic channels. One of the important compensatory channels of the arterial basket of the conus medullaris (ABCM). ABCM consists of one or two arteries arising from the anterior spinal artery (ASA) and circumferentially connecting the ASA and the posterior spinal arteries. In addition to compensatory function, the arterial basket can be involved in arteriovenous fistulae and malformations of the conus. The morphometric anatomical analysis of …

Contributors
Martirosyan, Nikolay, Preul, Mark C, Vernon, Brent, et al.
Created Date
2016

A robotic swarm can be defined as a large group of inexpensive, interchangeable robots with limited sensing and/or actuating capabilities that cooperate (explicitly or implicitly) based on local communications and sensing in order to complete a mission. Its inherent redundancy provides flexibility and robustness to failures and environmental disturbances which guarantee the proper completion of the required task. At the same time, human intuition and cognition can prove very useful in extreme situations where a fast and reliable solution is needed. This idea led to the creation of the field of Human-Swarm Interfaces (HSI) which attempts to incorporate the human …

Contributors
Karavas, Georgios Konstantinos, Artemiadis, Panagiotis, Berman, Spring M., et al.
Created Date
2017

Intermittent social defeat stress induces cross-sensitization to psychostimulants and escalation of drug self-administration. These behaviors could result from the stress-induced neuroadaptation in the mesocorticolimbic dopamine circuit. Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) in the ventral tegmental area (VTA) is persistently elevated after social defeat stress, and may contribute to the stress-induced neuroadaptation in the mesocorticolimbic dopamine circuit. BDNF modulates synaptic plasticity, and facilitates stress- and drug-induced neuroadaptations in the mesocorticolimbic system. The present research examined the role of mesolimbic BDNF signaling in social defeat stress-induced cross-sensitization to psychostimulants and the escalation of cocaine self-administration in rats. We measured drug taking behavior with …

Contributors
Wang, Junshi, Hammer, Ronald, Feuerstein, Burt, et al.
Created Date
2013

Spatiotemporal processing in the mammalian olfactory bulb (OB), and its analog, the invertebrate antennal lobe (AL), is subject to plasticity driven by biogenic amines. I study plasticity using honey bees, which have been extensively studied with respect to nonassociative and associative based olfactory learning and memory. Octopamine (OA) release in the AL is the functional analog to epinephrine in the OB. Blockade of OA receptors in the AL blocks plasticity induced changes in behavior. I have now begun to test specific hypotheses related to how this biogenic amine might be involved in plasticity in neural circuits within the AL. OA …

Contributors
Protas, Danielle Tatiana, Smith, Brian H, Neisewander, Janet, et al.
Created Date
2014

Patients with schizophrenia have deficits in sensorimotor gating, the ability to gate out irrelevant stimuli in order to attend to relevant stimuli. Prepulse inhibition (PPI) of the startle response is a reliable and valid model of sensorimotor gating across species. Repeated D2-like agonist treatment alleviates prior PPI deficits in rats, termed a PPI recovery, and is observable 28 days after treatment. The aim of the current project is to illuminate the underlying mechanism for this persistent change of behavior and determine the clinical relevance of repeated D2-like agonist treatment. Our results revealed a significant increase in Delta FosB, a transcription …

Contributors
Maple, Amanda Marie, Hammer, Ronald P, Olive, Michael F, et al.
Created Date
2013