Subject Area



Robert Vera ’20
Major: Psychology

Carina Alessandro ’21
Major: Biology and Psychology

Colin Call ’22
Major: Psychology

Faculty Mentor: Dr. Victoria Templer, Psychology

Previous studies have examined the posterior parietal cortex (PPC) as a multimodal hub using permanent lesioning techniques. However, when attempting to lesion the PPC as a whole, researchers have generally only managed to lesion the dorsal portion of the PPC (dPPC) without lesioning the caudal portion (cPPC). This study aimed to refine and improve the methods for successful targeting and lesioning the entire PPC. In two pilot lesions, we successfully created permanent excitotoxic lesions to the entire PPC using NMDA. Quantification of lesion extent in 19 subsequent surgeries (10 lesion; 9 sham), however, showed that like previous researchers, we were not able to target the cPPC. We attribute this to the increased size of the rats at the time of surgery compared to that of our initial lesions and calculated coordinates. The coordinates were thus modified to ensure that the caudal, as well as dorsal limb, were targeted. With refined coordinates and injection amounts, we have begun to administer temporary lesions to both the dPPC and the cPPC through the use of Designer Receptors Exclusively Activated by Designer Drugs (DREADDs). We piloted DREADDs virus injections in two male Long-Evans rats with slightly varying coordinates and injection amounts. Results from the first subject show that our coordinates accurately target both the dPPC and the cPPC, with improved localized spread. With these enhanced PPC coordinates and sharpened DREADDs methods, we will be well-positioned to answer questions about the function of both the dPPC and cPPC, which may be functionally different.


Providence College





Start Date

4-22-2020 12:00 AM




Streaming Media

Included in

Psychology Commons



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