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.

“I like to describe Iowa City as a small town, with a big city feel. The town is great to live in for a graduate student: cost of living is low, it is a very safe city, and a ton of activities. Iowa City is perfectly located within driving distance to several bigger cities: Des Moines (2 hours), Chicago (3.5 hours), Madison (3 hours), and Minneapolis (5 hours). Whether it's the summer jazz festival, film festivals, live bands, or the farmer's market, there are cultural events year-round that give you the chance to get out and have some fun. ”