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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 Erk/MAPK pathway plays a major role in cell growth, differentiation, and survival. Genetic mutations that cause dysregulation in this pathway can result in the development of Rasopathies, a group of several different syndromes including Noonan Syndrome, Costello Syndrome, and Neurofibromatosis Type-1. Since these mutations are germline and affect all cell types it is hard to differentiate the role that Erk/MAPK plays in each cell type. Previous research has shown that individual cell types utilize the Erk/MAPK pathway in different ways. For example, the morphological development of lower motor neuron axonal projections is Erk/MAPK-independent during embryogenesis, while nociceptive neuron projections …

Contributors
Smith, Colton, Newbern, Jason, Neisewander, Janet, et al.
Created Date
2017

Prosthetic users abandon devices due to difficulties performing tasks without proper graded or interpretable feedback. The inability to adequately detect and correct error of the device leads to failure and frustration. In advanced prostheses, peripheral nerve stimulation can be used to deliver sensations, but standard schemes used in sensorized prosthetic systems induce percepts inconsistent with natural sensations, providing limited benefit. Recent uses of time varying stimulation strategies appear to produce more practical sensations, but without a clear path to pursue improvements. This dissertation examines the use of physiologically based stimulation strategies to elicit sensations that are more readily interpretable. A …

Contributors
Tanner, Justin Cody, Helms Tillery, Stephen I, Santos, Veronica J, et al.
Created Date
2017

Schizophrenia is considered a multifactorial disorder with complex genetic variants in response to environmental stimuli. However, the specific genetic contribution to schizophrenia risk is largely unknown. The transcription factor early growth response gene 3 (EGR3) can be activated rapidly after stimuli and thus may translate environmental stimuli into gene changes that influence schizophrenia risk. However, the downstream genes that may be regulated by EGR3 are not clear. While the 5-Hydroxytryptamine receptor 2A (5HT2AR) - encoding gene Htr2a has been implicated in the etiology of schizophrenia, the mechanisms by which Htr2a influences susceptibility to this illness are poorly understood. We previously …

Contributors
Zhao, Xiuli, Gallitano, Amelia, Van Keuren-Jensen, Kendall, et al.
Created Date
2017

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

Animals must learn to ignore stimuli that are irrelevant to survival, which is a process referred to as ‘latent inhibition’. This process has been shown to be genetically heritable (Latshaw JS, Mazade R, Sinakevitch I, Mustard JA, Gadau J, Smith BH (submitted)). The locus containing the AmTYR1 gene has been shown through quantitative trait loci mapping to be linked to strong latent inhibition in honey bees. The Smith lab has been able to show a correlation between learning and the AmTYR1 receptor gene through pharmacological inhibition of the receptor. In order to further confirm this finding, experiments were designed to …

Contributors
Petersen, Mary Margaret, Smith, Brian H, Wang, Ying, et al.
Created Date
2017

In recent years, the use of biologically based (neurological, neuropsychological, genetic) evidence in criminal trials as support for claims of mental impairments among offenders has increased in popularity. However, research on how exposure to those arguments affects jury decision-making remains unclear. Specifically, arguments rooted in biology sometimes mitigate and sometimes aggravate judgments of criminal responsibility for mentally ill offenders, and this discrepancy seems to stem from the specific conditions by which that disorder was acquired. The following study’s aim was to uncover the precise mechanism(s) behind this elusive effect. Utilizing a 2x2 between subjects experimental design, participants were presented with …

Contributors
Hunter, Shelby, Schweitzer, Nick, Neal, Tess, et al.
Created Date
2017

Angelman syndrome (AS) is a neurodevelopmental disorder characterized by developmental delays, intellectual disabilities, impaired language and speech, and movement defects. Most AS cases are caused by dysfunction of a maternally-expressed E3 ubiquitin ligase (UBE3A, also known as E6 associated protein, E6-AP) in neurons. Currently, the mechanism on how loss-of-function of the enzyme influences the nervous system development remains unknown. We hypothesize that impaired metabolism of proteins, most likely those related to E6-AP substrates, may alter the developmental trajectory of neuronal structures including dendrites, spines and synaptic proteins, which leads to disrupted activity/experience-dependent synaptic plasticity and maturation. To test this hypothesis, …

Contributors
Li, Guohui, Qiu, Shenfeng, Newbern, Jason, et al.
Created Date
2017

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

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

Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects 5.4 million Americans. AD leads to memory loss, changes in behavior, and death. The key hallmarks of the disease are amyloid plaques and tau tangles, consisting of amyloid-β oligomers and hyperphosphorylated tau, respectively. Rho-associated, coiled-coil-containing protein kinase (ROCK) is an enzyme that plays important roles in neuronal cells including mediating actin organization and dendritic spine morphogenesis. The ROCK inhibitor Fasudil has been shown to increase learning and working memory in aged rats, but another ROCK inhibitor, Y27632, was shown to impair learning and memory. I am interested in exploring how …

Contributors
Turk, Mari Nicole, Huentelman, Matt, Kusumi, Kenro, et al.
Created Date
2017

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

Audiovisual (AV) integration is a fundamental component of face-to-face communication. Visual cues generally aid auditory comprehension of communicative intent through our innate ability to “fuse” auditory and visual information. However, our ability for multisensory integration can be affected by damage to the brain. Previous neuroimaging studies have indicated the superior temporal sulcus (STS) as the center for AV integration, while others suggest inferior frontal and motor regions. However, few studies have analyzed the effect of stroke or other brain damage on multisensory integration in humans. The present study examines the effect of lesion location on auditory and AV speech perception …

Contributors
Cai, Julia, Rogalsky, Corianne, Azuma, Tamiko, et al.
Created Date
2017

Latino youth have substantially higher rates of obesity and T2D than their white peers. The higher prevalence of obesity and T2D among Latino youth places them at greater risk for cognitive dysfunction, an urgent and serious health threat to the United States. Exercise has been the cornerstone to combat the negative effects of obesity, diabetes and recent research also supports this effects for preventing cognitive dysfunction. A wealth of evidence suggests that a mediating mechanism linking exercise with brain health is BDNF, a cognitive biomarker that increases in the brain with exercise. BDNF is the most abundant neurotrophic factor that …

Contributors
Barraza, Estela, Shaibi, Gabriel Q., Swan, Pamela, et al.
Created Date
2016

The use of a non-invasive form of energy to modulate neural structures has gained wide spread attention because of its ability to remotely control neural excitation. This study investigates the ability of focused high frequency ultrasound to modulate the excitability the peripheral nerve of an amphibian. A 5MHz ultrasound transducer is used for the study with the pulse characteristics of 57msec long train burst and duty cycle of 8% followed by an interrogative electrical stimulus varying from 30μsecs to 2msecs in pulse duration. The nerve excitability is determined by the compound action potential (CAP) amplitude evoked by a constant electrical …

Contributors
Chirania, Sanchit, Towe, Bruce, Abbas, James, et al.
Created Date
2016

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

Neurotoxicology has historically focused on substances that directly damage nervous tissue. Behavioral assays that test sensory, cognitive, or motor function are used to identify neurotoxins. But, the outcomes of behavioral assays may also be influenced by the physiological status of non-neural organs. Therefore, toxin induced damage to non- neural organs may contribute to behavioral modifications. Heavy metals and metalloids are persistent environmental pollutants and induce neurological deficits in multiple organisms. However, in the honey bee, an important insect pollinator, little is known about the sublethal effects of heavy metal and metalloid toxicity though they are exposed to these toxins chronically …

Contributors
Burden, Christina Marie, Amdam, Gro, Smith, Brian H, et al.
Created Date
2016

Biological and biomedical measurements, when adequately analyzed and processed, can be used to impart quantitative diagnosis during primary health care consultation to improve patient adherence to recommended treatments. For example, analyzing neural recordings from neurostimulators implanted in patients with neurological disorders can be used by a physician to adjust detrimental stimulation parameters to improve treatment. As another example, biosequences, such as sequences from peptide microarrays obtained from a biological sample, can potentially provide pre-symptomatic diagnosis for infectious diseases when processed to associate antibodies to specific pathogens or infectious agents. This work proposes advanced statistical signal processing and machine learning methodologies …

Contributors
Maurer, Alexander, Papandreou-Suppappola, Antonia, Bliss, Daniel, et al.
Created Date
2016

Why do many animals possess multiple classes of photoreceptors that vary in the wavelengths of light to which they are sensitive? Multiple spectral photoreceptor classes are a requirement for true color vision. However, animals may have unconventional vision, in which multiple spectral channels broaden the range of wavelengths that can be detected, or in which they use only a subset of receptors for specific behaviors. Branchiopod crustaceans are of interest for the study of unconventional color vision because they express multiple visual pigments in their compound eyes, have a simple repertoire of visually guided behavior, inhabit unique and highly variable …

Contributors
Lessios, Nicolas, Rutowski, Ronald L, Cohen, Jonathan H, et al.
Created Date
2016

Long-term monitoring of deep brain structures using microelectrode implants is critical for the success of emerging clinical applications including cortical neural prostheses, deep brain stimulation and other neurobiology studies such as progression of disease states, learning and memory, brain mapping etc. However, current microelectrode technologies are not capable enough of reaching those clinical milestones given their inconsistency in performance and reliability in long-term studies. In all the aforementioned applications, it is important to understand the limitations & demands posed by technology as well as biological processes. Recent advances in implantable Micro Electro Mechanical Systems (MEMS) technology have tremendous potential and …

Contributors
Palaniswamy, Sivakumar, Muthuswamy, Jitendran, Buneo, Christopher, et al.
Created Date
2016

Navigation through natural environments requires continuous sensory guidance. In addition to coordinated muscle contractions of the limbs that are controlled by spinal cord, equilibrium, body weight bearing and transfer, and avoidance of obstacles all have to happen while locomotion is in progress and these are controlled by the supraspinal centers. For successful locomotion, animals require visual and somatosensory information. Even though a number of supraspinal centers receive both in varying degrees, processing this information at different levels of the central nervous system, especially their contribution to visuo-motor and sensory-motor integration during locomotion is poorly understood. This dissertation investigates the patterns …

Contributors
Nilaweera, Wijitha Udayalal, Beloozerova, Irina N, Smith, Brian H, et al.
Created Date
2016