Psychology Department


GHG  Gretchen Gotthard, Ph.D. Email Gretchen Gotthard
  Associate Professor of                   Psychology & Neuroscience
  Behavioral Neuroscience
  Moyer Hall - Room 224

Professor Gotthard's Homepage

B.S., University of North Dakota, Ph.D., Kent State University

Dr. Gotthard joined the Psychology Department and Neuroscience Program in Fall 2008. She teaches courses in psychology and neuroscience, and conducts research on learning and memory. Prior to coming to Muhlenberg, Dr. Gotthard taught at Randolph College, and Carleton College.

Dr. Gotthard writes: "My research employs novel behavioral techniques, neuroscience, and pharmacology to examine the behavioral and neural substrates of learning and memory. The task I have developed, called the Sand Maze, allows for an ethologically relevant interpretation of learning and memory in the rodent because it taps into the natural foraging behavior of rats. At the same time, it serves as an appetitive alternative to the industry-standard spatial task, called the Morris Water Maze. The Sand Maze taps spatial learning and memory, as the Water Maze does, but greatly reduces the aversive side effects of the Water Maze."

Selected publications & presentations:

  • Cohen, J.* & Gotthard, G. H. (2011). Extinction of appetitive learning is disrupted by cycloheximide and propranolol in the sand maze in rats. Neurobiology of Learning and Memory, 95, 484-490.
  • Gotthard, G.H., Block, J. N.*, Cohen, M.*, & Houck, C.* (2011). Spatial and nonspatial foraging: Appetitively motivated paradigms for the study of learning and memory in rats. Journal of Behavioral and Neuroscience Research, 9, 69-74 [Special Issue: Laboratory Activities for Courses in Learning; Eds. R. Flint, Jr. & M. Anderson].
  • Gotthard, G. H. & Knöppel, A. B.* (2010). Cycloheximide produces amnesia for extinction and reconsolidation in an appetitive odor discrimination task in rats.  Neurobiology of Learning and Memory, 93, 127-131.
  • Gotthard, G.H. (2006). The sand maze. In M.J. Anderson (Ed.), Tasks and techniques: A sampling of the methodologies for the investigation of animal learning, behavior, and cognition (pp. 87-95). New York: Nova Science Publishers.
  • Smith, A.R.* & Gotthard, G.H. (Nov., 2005). Examination of the state dependent properties of WIN-55-212-2 on spatial learning and memory in rats in the sand maze. Poster presented at the annual meeting of the Society for Neuroscience, Washington, DC.
  • *Denotes student co-author.