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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


The goal of this thesis is to test whether Alzheimer's disease (AD) is associated with distinctive humoral immune changes that can be detected in plasma and tracked across time. This is relevant because AD is the principal cause of dementia, and yet, no specific diagnostic tests are universally employed in clinical practice to predict, diagnose or monitor disease progression. In particular, I describe herein a proteomic platform developed at the Center for Innovations in Medicine (CIM) consisting of a slide with 10.000 random-sequence peptides printed on its surface, which is used as the solid phase of an immunoassay where antibodies …

Contributors
Restrepo Jimenez, Lucas, Johnston, Stephen A, Chang, Yung, et al.
Created Date
2011

The present study explores the role of motion in the perception of form from dynamic occlusion, employing color to help isolate the contributions of both visual pathways. Although the cells that respond to color cues in the environment usually feed into the ventral stream, humans can perceive motion based on chromatic cues. The current study was designed to use grey, green, and red stimuli to successively limit the amount of information available to the dorsal stream pathway, while providing roughly equal information to the ventral system. Twenty-one participants identified shapes that were presented in grey, green, and red and were …

Contributors
Holloway, Steven Robert, Mcbeath, Michael K., Homa, Donald, et al.
Created Date
2011

An accurate sense of upper limb position is crucial to reaching movements where sensory information about upper limb position and target location is combined to specify critical features of the movement plan. This dissertation was dedicated to studying the mechanisms of how the brain estimates the limb position in space and the consequences of misestimation of limb position on movements. Two independent but related studies were performed. The first involved characterizing the neural mechanisms of limb position estimation in the non-human primate brain. Single unit recordings were obtained in area 5 of the posterior parietal cortex in order to examine …

Contributors
Shi, Ying, Buneo, Christopher A, Helms Tillery, Stephen, et al.
Created Date
2011

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

Neurostimulation methods currently include deep brain stimulation (DBS), optogenetic, transcranial direct-current stimulation (tDCS), and transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS). TMS and tDCS are noninvasive techniques whereas DBS and optogenetic require surgical implantation of electrodes or light emitting devices. All approaches, except for optogenetic, have been implemented in clinical settings because they have demonstrated therapeutic utility and clinical efficacy for neurological and psychiatric disorders. When applied for therapeutic applications, these techniques suffer from limitations that hinder the progression of its intended use to treat compromised brain function. DBS requires an invasive surgical procedure that surfaces complications from infection, longevity of electrical components, …

Contributors
Tufail, Yusuf, Tyler, William J, Duch, Carsten, et al.
Created Date
2011

Nicotine is thought to underlie the reinforcing and dependence-producing effects of tobacco-containing products. Nicotine supports self-administration in rodents, although measures of its reinforcing effects are often confounded by procedures that are used to facilitate acquisition, such as food restriction, prior reinforcement training, or response-contingent co-delivery of a naturally reinforcing light. This study examined whether rats acquire nicotine self-administration in the absence of these facilitators. A new mathematical modeling procedure was used to define the criterion for acquisition and to determine dose-dependent differences in rate and asymptote levels of intake. Rats were trained across 20 daily 2-h sessions occurring 6 days/week …

Contributors
Cole, Natalie Ann, Neisewander, Janet L, Sanabria, Federico, et al.
Created Date
2011

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

Cognitive function is multidimensional and complex, and research indicates that it is impacted by age, lifetime experience, and ovarian hormone milieu. One particular domain of cognitive function that is susceptible to age-related decrements is spatial memory. Cognitive practice can affect spatial memory when aged in both males and females, and in females alone ovarian hormones have been found to alter spatial memory via modulating brain microstructure and function in many of the same brain areas affected by aging. The research in this dissertation has implications that promote an understanding of the effects of cognitive practice on aging memory, why males …

Contributors
Talboom, Joshua Siegfried, Bimonte-Nelson, Heather A, Conrad, Cheryl D, et al.
Created Date
2011

Systemic lupus erytematosus (SLE) is an autoimmune disease where the immune system is reactive to self antigens resulting in manifestations like glomerulonephritis and arthritis. The immune system also affects the central nervous system (known as CNS-SLE) leading to neuropsychiatric manifestations such as depression, cognitive impairment, psychosis and seizures. A subset of pathogenic brain-reactive autoantibodies (BRAA) is hypothesized to bind to integral membrane brain proteins, affecting their function, leading to CNS-SLE. I have tested this BRAA hypothesis, using our lupus-mouse model the MRL/lpr mice, and have found it to be a reasonable explanation for some of the manifestations of CNS-SLE. Even …

Contributors
Williams, Stephanie Mitchell, Hoffman, Steven A, Conrad, Cheryl, et al.
Created Date
2011

Sensory gating is a process by which the nervous system preferentially admits stimuli that are important for the organism while filtering out those that may be meaningless. An optimal sensory gate cannot be static or inflexible, but rather plastic and informed by past experiences. Learning enables sensory gates to recognize stimuli that are emotionally salient and potentially predictive of positive or negative outcomes essential to survival. Olfaction is the only sensory modality in mammals where sensory inputs bypass conventional thalamic gating before entering higher emotional or cognitive brain regions. Thus, olfactory bulb circuits may have a heavier burden of sensory …

Contributors
Li, Monica Mo, Tyler, William J, Smith, Brian H, et al.
Created Date
2012

One explanation for membrane accommodation in response to a slowly rising current, and the phenomenon underlying the dynamics of elliptic bursting in nerves, is the mathematical problem of dynamic Hopf bifurcation. This problem has been studied extensively for linear (deterministic and stochastic) current ramps, nonlinear ramps, and elliptic bursting. These studies primarily investigated dynamic Hopf bifurcation in space-clamped excitable cells. In this study we introduce a new phenomenon associated with dynamic Hopf bifurcation. We show that for excitable spiny cables injected at one end with a slow current ramp, the generation of oscillations may occur an order one distance away …

Contributors
Bilinsky, Lydia, Baer, Steven M, Crook, Sharon M, et al.
Created Date
2012

Our ability to estimate the position of our body parts in space, a fundamentally proprioceptive process, is crucial for interacting with the environment and movement control. For proprioception to support these actions, the Central Nervous System has to rely on a stored internal representation of the body parts in space. However, relatively little is known about this internal representation of arm position. To this end, I developed a method to map proprioceptive estimates of hand location across a 2-d workspace. In this task, I moved each subject's hand to a target location while the subject's eyes were closed. After returning …

Contributors
Rincon Gonzalez, Liliana, Helms Tillery, Stephen I, Buneo, Christopher A, et al.
Created Date
2012

Ethinyl estradiol, (EE) a synthetic, orally bio-available estrogen, is the most commonly prescribed form of estrogen in oral contraceptives (Shively, C., 1998), and is found in at least 30 different contraceptive formulations currently prescribed to women (Curtis et al., 2005). EE is also used in hormone therapies prescribed to menopausal women, such as FemhrtTM (Simon et al., 2003). Thus, EE is prescribed clinically to women at ages ranging from puberty through reproductive senescence. Here, in two separate studies, the cognitive effects of cyclic or tonic EE administration following ovariectomy (Ovx) were evaluated in young, female rats. Study I assessed the …

Contributors
Mennenga, Sarah Elaine, Bimonte-Nelson, Heather A., Baxter, Leslie C., et al.
Created Date
2012

After natural menopause in women, androstenedione becomes the primary hormone secreted by the residual follicle deplete ovaries. Two independent studies, in rodents that had undergone ovarian follicular depletion, found that higher serum androstenedione levels correlated with increased working memory errors. This led to the hypothesis that androstenedione impairs memory. The current study directly tested this hypothesis, examining the cognitive effects of androstenedione administration in a rodent model. Middle-aged ovariectomized rats received vehicle or one of two doses of androstenedione (4 or 8 mg/kg daily). Rats were tested on a spatial working and reference memory maze battery including the water radial …

Contributors
Camp, Bryan Walter, Bimonte-Nelson, Heather A, Olive, Michael F, et al.
Created Date
2012

Though for most of the twentieth century, dogma held that the adult brain was post-mitotic, it is now known that adult neurogenesis is widespread among vertebrates, from fish, amphibians, reptiles and birds to mammals including humans. Seasonal changes in adult neurogenesis are well characterized in the song control system of song birds, and have been found in seasonally breeding mammals as well. In contrast to more derived vertebrates, such as mammals, where adult neurogenesis is restricted primarily to the olfactory bulb and the dentate gyrus of the hippocampus, neurogenesis is widespread along the ventricles of adult amphibians. I hypothesized that …

Contributors
Mumaw, Luke Thomas, Orchinik, Miles, Deviche, Pierre, et al.
Created Date
2012

Multiple Sclerosis, an autoimmune disease, is one of the most common neurological disorder in which demyelinating of the axon occurs. The main symptoms of MS disease are fatigue, vision problems, stability issue, balance problems. Unfortunately, currently available treatments for this disease do not always guarantee the improvement of the condition of the MS patient and there has not been an accurate mechanism to measure the effectiveness of the treatment due to inter-patient heterogeneity. The factors that count for varying the performance of MS patients include environmental setting, weather, psychological status, dressing style and more. Also, patients may react differently while …

Contributors
Yin, Siyang, He, Jiping, Pizziconi, Vincent, et al.
Created Date
2012

Spinal cord injury (SCI) disrupts the communication between supraspinal circuits and spinal circuits distal to the injury. This disruption causes changes in the motor abilities of the affected individual, but it can also be used as an opportunity to study motor control in the absence or limited presence of control from the brain. In the case of incomplete paraplegia, locomotion is impaired and often results in increased incidence of foot drag and decreased postural stability after injury. The overall goal of this work is to understand how changes in kinematics of movement and neural control of muscles effect locomotor coordination …

Contributors
Hillen, Brian, Jung, Ranu, Abbas, James, et al.
Created Date
2012

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

Interictal spikes, together with seizures, have been recognized as the two hallmarks of epilepsy, a brain disorder that 1% of the world's population suffers from. Even though the presence of spikes in brain's electromagnetic activity has diagnostic value, their dynamics are still elusive. It was an objective of this dissertation to formulate a mathematical framework within which the dynamics of interictal spikes could be thoroughly investigated. A new epileptic spike detection algorithm was developed by employing data adaptive morphological filters. The performance of the spike detection algorithm was favorably compared with others in the literature. A novel spike spatial synchronization …

Contributors
Krishnan, Balu, Iasemidis, Leonidas, Tsakalis, Kostantinos, et al.
Created Date
2012

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