Behavioural neuroscience examines the biological basis of behaviour. At Laurier, we address human and animal psychological issues by exploring the interaction between behaviour and the nervous systems of animals. Our research interests can be grouped into two connected streams. A major stream focuses on animal models of human medical (mental) disorders. In particular, this includes: (a) addiction (Eikelboom, Mallet, McKay), (b) eating disorders (Eikelboom), and (c) age-related memory disorders (Marrone). The second broad stream investigates the importance of learning processes. The focus here is: (a) neurobiology of learning and memory (Eikelboom, Mallet, Marrone, McKay, Santi), (b) comparative cognition of time and number processing (Santi), (c) the learning-motivation interface (Eikelboom, Mallet, McKay) and (d) neural plasticity (Mallet, Marrone, McKay).
Our laboratories are well-equipped and enable students to learn a broad range of behavioural techniques (learning and memory paradigms, addiction models, and operant behaviours, to name a few) as well as systems neuroscience approaches (histology, small animal surgery, and in vivo electrophysiology) and cellular-molecular neuroscience approaches (confocal imaging, immunohistochemistry, patch clamp electrophysiology, quantitative gene expression analyses, and in situ hybridization).