Chris Sahagian, BS


I am responsible for performing behavioral tests with mice model of Alzheimer’s in both real world and virtual reality scenarios of “getting lost,” as a means of collecting data that may shed light on the neurobiological mechanisms that enable the development of an internalized spatial understanding of one’s location, or the formation of a body-centered map of external surroundings. The idea is to see whether the mice are able to find the goal location of the reward zone by utilizing only distal cues after adjusting the linear track or doing other methods of reorientation; this variable is quantified by the velocity of the mouse, tracked visually by camera. The vast potential health-care implications of the collected data incite great personal interest, as I am an undergraduate student of UC Irvine aiming towards a career in the realm of medicine. Actively participating in neurobiological research provides me an opportunity to further develop my interest in the topic of study. I am truly honored to be involved with the exciting research led by the great minds at the McNaughton laboratory.

I recently received an appointment as a fellow in the Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program (UROP) for 2016/2017 for my work on classical conditioning (behavior) studies in memory-impaired mice in a virtual reality environment. You may find the announcement in our news or here and the full text of my proposal here.