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Professor, four students published in Physiology and Behavior

A collaborative research paper jointly authored by Dr. Phillip Zoladz, Ohio Northern University assistant professor of psychology, and four ONU students has been accepted for publication in Physiology and Behavior. The paper, “Pre-Learning Stress Differentially Affects Long-Term Memory for Emotional Words, Depending on Temporal Proximity to the Learning Experience,” explores the effects of stress on human memory and one’s ability to learn.

Zoladz’s research compares how stress administered at two different times (immediately before learning and 30 minutes before learning) affects long-term memory retrieval. The paper suggests that, at first, stress rapidly enhances the ability to learn. It impairs learning after some delay.

The paper features the work of ONU alumni Bri Clark and Lindsay Smith as well as current students Ashlee Warnecke, a senior psychology major from Kalida, Ohio, and Jennifer Tabar, a senior biology major from Hinckley, Ohio. The paper also features the work of Dr. Jeffery Talbot, assistant professor of pharmacology in the ONU College of Pharmacy.

“My success is, in large part, attributable to the undergraduate research assistants who have worked countless hours conducting the research in a scientifically rigorous and professional manner,” said Zoladz, “It is always fun to carry out my personal scientific ideas in hope of uncovering findings that shed new light on how stress affects memory, but nothing is more rewarding than providing our students with an opportunity to engage in such research, present the research at conferences, and, ultimately, be listed on an academic publication as undergraduates.”