I will be working at the University of Arizona’s Evelyn F. McKnight Brain Institute. Under the mentorship of neuroscientist Dr. Carol Barnes, I will be researching the cognitive effects and spatial memory deficits in normal aging rats. Spatial memory is the part of memory responsible for recording information about one's environment and orientation. By using yoked pairs of young and old albino rats in a series of carefully-designed experiments, such as mazes and mind tests, I will be able to explore the changes that occur as rodents age. There will be three phases of investigation: Habituation, the Linear Track, and the W-Maze. Each phase will closely examine the relationship between the spatially related activity of cells in the hippocampus and a rat’s ability to successfully navigate a w-shaped maze in an alternating pattern. My research with rodents will serve as a model for memory decline in the aged. In addition to this specific project, I have full access to the surrounding Brain Institute labs, so I will be able to watch other research experiments pertaining to cognition and neuroscience.