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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


There is a critical need for creating an implantable microscale neural interface that can chronically monitor neural activity and oxygenation. These are key aspects for understating the development of impaired neural circuits and their functions. A technology with such capability would foster new insights in the studies of brain diseases and disorders. The propose is that MR-PISTOL (Proton imaging of Siloxane to Map Tissue Oxygenation Levels) imaging technique can be used for direct measurements of oxygen partial pressure at microelectrode-tissue interface. The strategy consists of coating microelectrodes with soft-silicone, a ultra-soft conductive PDMS (polydimethylsiloxane), as a carrier for liquid siloxanes …

Contributors
de Mesquita Teixeira, Livia, Muthuswamy, Jitendran, Kodibagkar, Vikram, et al.
Created Date
2018

Proprioception is the sense of body position, movement, force, and effort. Loss of proprioception can affect planning and control of limb and body movements, negatively impacting activities of daily living and quality of life. Assessments employing planar robots have shown that proprioceptive sensitivity is directionally dependent within the horizontal plane however, few studies have looked at proprioceptive sensitivity in 3d space. In addition, the extent to which proprioceptive sensitivity is modifiable by factors such as exogenous neuromodulation is unclear. To investigate proprioceptive sensitivity in 3d we developed a novel experimental paradigm employing a 7-DoF robot arm, which enables reliable testing …

Contributors
Klein, Joshua, Buneo, Christopher, Helms-Tillery, Stephen, et al.
Created Date
2018

Neural interfacing applications have advanced in complexity, with needs for increasingly high degrees of freedom in prosthetic device control, sharper discrimination in sensory percepts in bidirectional interfaces, and more precise localization of functional connectivity in the brain. As such, there is a growing need for reliable neurophysiological recordings at a fine spatial scale matching that of cortical columnar processing. Penetrating microelectrodes provide localization sufficient to isolate action potential (AP) waveforms, but often suffer from recorded signal deterioration linked to foreign body response. Micro-Electrocorticography (μECoG) surface electrodes elicit lower foreign body response and show greater chronic stability of recorded signals, though …

Contributors
Barton, Cody David, Greger, Bradley, Greger, Bradley, et al.
Created Date
2018

Estrogen-containing hormone therapy (HT) is approved for treatment of symptoms associated with menopause by the Food and Drug Administration. A common estrogen used in HT is 17β-estradiol (E2). Rodent models of menopause, and some clinical work as well, suggest a cognitively-beneficial role of E2. However, as of the 2017 statement released by the North American Menopause Society, HT is not currently advised for use as cognitive therapy in healthy, menopausal women, given that the data so far from existing clinical studies are not yet definitive. Indeed, the delivery of E2 treatment can be optimized to yield more consistent results on …

Contributors
Prakapenka, Alesia, Bimonte-Nelson, Heather, Conrad, Cheryl, et al.
Created Date
2018

The RASopathies are a collection of developmental diseases caused by germline mutations in components of the RAS/MAPK signaling pathway and is one of the world’s most common set of genetic diseases. A majority of these mutations result in an upregulation of RAS/MAPK signaling and cause a variety of both physical and neurological symptoms. Neurodevelopmental symptoms of the RASopathies include cognitive and motor delays, learning and intellectual disabilities, and various behavioral problems. Recent noninvasive imaging studies have detected widespread abnormalities within white matter tracts in the brains of RASopathy patients. These abnormalities are believed to be indicative of underlying connectivity deficits …

Contributors
Bjorklund, George Reed, Newbern, Jason M, Neisewander, Janet, et al.
Created Date
2018

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

Timing performance is sensitive to fluctuations in time and motivation, thus interval timing and motivation are either inseparable or conflated processes. A behavioral systems model (e.g., Timberlake, 2000) of timing performance (Chapter 1) suggests that timing performance in externally-initiated (EI) procedures conflates behavioral modes differentially sensitive to motivation, but that response-initiated (RI) procedures potentially dissociate these behavioral modes. That is, timing performance in RI procedures is expected to not conflate these behavioral modes. According to the discriminative RI hypothesis, as initiating-responses become progressively discriminable from target responses, initiating-responses increasingly dissociate interval timing and motivation. Rats were trained in timing procedures …

Contributors
Daniels, Carter W, Sanabria, Federico, McClure, Samuel M., et al.
Created Date
2018

Growing understanding of the neural code and how to speak it has allowed for notable advancements in neural prosthetics. With commercially-available implantable systems with bi- directional neural communication on the horizon, there is an increasing imperative to develop high resolution interfaces that can survive the environment and be well tolerated by the nervous system under chronic use. The sensory encoding aspect optimally interfaces at a scale sufficient to evoke perception but focal in nature to maximize resolution and evoke more complex and nuanced sensations. Microelectrode arrays can maintain high spatial density, operating on the scale of cortical columns, and can …

Contributors
Oswalt, Denise, Greger, Bradley, Buneo, Christopher, et al.
Created Date
2018

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

Reproduction is energetically costly and seasonal breeding has evolved to capitalize on predictable increases in food availability. The synchronization of breeding with periods of peak food availability is especially important for small birds, most of which do not store an extensive amount of energy. The annual change in photoperiod is the primary environmental cue regulating reproductive development, but must be integrated with supplementary cues relating to local energetic conditions. Photoperiodic regulation of the reproductive neuroendocrine system is well described in seasonally breeding birds, but the mechanisms that these animals use to integrate supplementary cues remain unclear. I hypothesized that (a) …

Contributors
Valle, Shelley, Deviche, Pierre, McGraw, Kevin, et al.
Created Date
2018

Properly deciding to engage in or to withhold an action is a critical ability for goal-oriented movement control. Such decision may be driven by expected value from the choice of action but associating physical effort may discount such value. A novel anticipatory stopping task was developed to investigate effort discounted decision process potentially present in proactive inhibitory control. Subjects performed or abstained from target reach if they believed it was a Go or Stop trial respectively. Reward was awarded to a reach, correctly timed to hit a target at the same time as the moving bar in Go trials. During …

Contributors
Tsuchiya, Toshiki, Santello, Marco, Fine, Justin, et al.
Created Date
2018

The ability to detect and appropriately respond to chemical stimuli is important for many organisms, ranging from bacteria to multicellular animals. Responses to these stimuli can be plastic over multiple time scales. In the short-term, the synaptic strengths of neurons embedded in neural circuits can be modified and result in various forms of learning. In the long-term, the overall developmental trajectory of the olfactory network can be altered and synaptic strengths can be modified on a broad scale as a direct result of long-term (chronic) stimulus experience. Over evolutionary time the olfactory system can impose selection pressures that affect the …

Contributors
Jernigan, Christopher, Smith, Brian H, Newbern, Jason, et al.
Created Date
2018

Childhood Apraxia of Speech (CAS) is a severe motor speech disorder that is difficult to diagnose as there is currently no gold-standard measurement to differentiate between CAS and other speech disorders. In the present study, we investigate underlying biomarkers associated with CAS in addition to enhanced phenotyping through behavioral testing. Cortical electrophysiological measures were utilized to investigate differences in neural activation in response to native and non-native vowel contrasts between children with CAS and typically developing peers. Genetic analysis included full exome sequencing of a child with CAS and his unaffected parents in order to uncover underlying genetic variation that …

Contributors
Vose, Caitlin, Peter, Beate, Liu, Li, et al.
Created Date
2018

The activation of the primary motor cortex (M1) is common in speech perception tasks that involve difficult listening conditions. Although the challenge of recognizing and discriminating non-native speech sounds appears to be an instantiation of listening under difficult circumstances, it is still unknown if M1 recruitment is facilitatory of second language speech perception. The purpose of this study was to investigate the role of M1 associated with speech motor centers in processing acoustic inputs in the native (L1) and second language (L2), using repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (rTMS) to selectively alter neural activity in M1. Thirty-six healthy English/Spanish bilingual subjects …

Contributors
Barragan, Beatriz, Liss, Julie, Berisha, Visar, et al.
Created Date
2018

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

Chronic stress results in functional and structural changes to the hippocampus. Decades of research has led to insights into the mechanisms underlying the chronic stress-induced deficits in hippocampal-mediated cognition and reduction of dendritic complexity of hippocampal neurons. Recently, a considerable focus of chronic stress research has investigated the mechanisms behind the improvements in hippocampal mediated cognition when chronic stress ends and a post-stress rest period is given. Consequently, the goal of this dissertation is to uncover the mechanisms that allow for spatial ability to improve in the aftermath of chronic stress. In chapter 2, the protein brain derived neurotrophic factor …

Contributors
Ortiz, John Bryce, Conrad, Cheryl D., Newbern, Jason M., et al.
Created Date
2018

Understanding where our bodies are in space is imperative for motor control, particularly for actions such as goal-directed reaching. Multisensory integration is crucial for reducing uncertainty in arm position estimates. This dissertation examines time and frequency-domain correlates of visual-proprioceptive integration during an arm-position maintenance task. Neural recordings were obtained from two different cortical areas as non-human primates performed a center-out reaching task in a virtual reality environment. Following a reach, animals maintained the end-point position of their arm under unimodal (proprioception only) and bimodal (proprioception and vision) conditions. In both areas, time domain and multi-taper spectral analysis methods were used …

Contributors
Vangilder, Paul, Buneo, Christopher A, Helms-Tillery, Stephen, et al.
Created Date
2017

Food is an essential driver of animal behavior. For social organisms, the acquisition of food guides interactions with the environment and with group-mates. Studies have focused on how social individuals find and choose food sources, and share both food and information with group-mates. However, it is often not clear how experiences throughout an individual's life influence such interactions. The core question of this thesis is how individuals’ experience contributes to within-caste behavioral variation in a social group. I investigate the effects of individual history, including physical injury and food-related experience, on individuals' social food sharing behavior, responses to food-related stimuli, …

Contributors
Finkelstein, Abigail Basya, Amdam, Gro V, Conrad, Cheryl, et al.
Created Date
2017

Approximately 2.8 million Americans seek medical care for traumatic brain injury (TBI) each year. Of this population, the majority are sufferers of diffuse TBI, or concussion. It is unknown how many more individuals decline to seek medical care following mild TBI. This likely sizeable population of un- or self-treated individuals combined with a lack of definitive biomarkers or objective post-injury diagnostics creates a unique need for practical therapies among diffuse TBI sufferers. Practical therapies stand to decrease the burden of TBI among those who would otherwise not seek treatment or do not meet clinical diagnostic criteria upon examination. For this …

Contributors
Harrison, Jordan Lee, Lifshitz, Jonathan, Neisewander, Janet, et al.
Created Date
2017

The human hand is a complex biological system. Humans have evolved a unique ability to use the hand for a wide range of tasks, including activities of daily living such as successfully grasping and manipulating objects, i.e., lifting a cup of coffee without spilling. Despite the ubiquitous nature of hand use in everyday activities involving object manipulations, there is currently an incomplete understanding of the cortical sensorimotor mechanisms underlying this important behavior. One critical aspect of natural object grasping is the coordination of where the fingers make contact with an object and how much force is applied following contact. Such …

Contributors
McGurrin, Patrick M., Santello, Marco, Helms-Tillery, Steve, et al.
Created Date
2017