Amy Poremba, PhD

amy-poremba
Psychology
Associate Professor
Summary statement: 

Neurobiology of learning and memory; auditory system and multisensory interactions

Office phone: 
(319) 335-0372
Office building: 
SSH

The goal of our research is to understand how the central nervous system performs the complex functions underlying learning and memory by mapping metabolic and electrical activity within and between functional groups of cells. Is there one central learning circuit for sensory information or are there several circuits depending on the type of learning and/or the sensory modality? Our laboratory group is identifying the neural functional maps underlying various types of learning including delay nonmatching to sample (DNMS), classical and operant conditioning using auditory and visual stimuli. By using whole brain metabolic mapping techniques such as 2-deoxyglucose (2-DG) autoradiography and cytochrome oxidase (C.O.) histochemistry, the neural circuit differences between auditory versus visual stimuli, classical and operant conditioning, and acquisition vs. maintenance, of behavioral patterns using a variety of sensory cues are being delineated. The neural circuits that are identified with metabolic mapping techniques are then verified and refined in rodents and primates through permanent lesion and temporary inactivation studies as well as neuronal recording studies.

“What convinced me to attend Iowa was the Neuroscience Program. There's a deep commitment to neuroscience research at the University of Iowa, and it's reflected in the strength of the Neuroscience Program. Annually, it's ranked as one of the highest doctoral programs at the university, and the ongoing research conducted by the faculty and students is excellent. The interdisciplinary aspect of the program is tremendous for one's graduate education. There's a conflux of molecular/cellular, cognitive, systems, and behavioral research in the program and it really allows each student in the program to gain a broad spectrum of skills and knowledge in the field of neuroscience. But, the program was also attractive to me for reasons outside of the curriculum and research. From the moment I arrived on campus, the program has felt like a family. Students help each other out, and offer a great support system. And after several years of being in the program, I can undoubtedly say, Iowa was the perfect choice for me.”