Date of Completion


Document Type

Honors College Thesis



Thesis Type

College of Arts and Science Honors, Honors College

First Advisor

Dr. Kalev Freeman

Second Advisor

Dr. Jeremy Barry

Third Advisor

Dr. Alicia Ebert


traumatic brain injury, TBI, spatial accuracy, working memory, spatial memory, food restriction, cognitive deficit, TBI in mice


The objective of this research is to determine how repeated traumatic brain injuries caused by blast waves affect spatial and working memory. Acute traumatic brain injuries (TBI) have been shown to affect spatial and working memory in humans, but less is known about the effect of repeated blast exposures. We hypothesized that three sequential low-level blast waves will impair the spatial and working memory capabilities of these mice when compared to control mice who receive no injury. Mice first trained on a spatial accuracy task, then received three consecutive mild-TBI events. They were tested on the spatial accuracy task at one week and again at 3 months post-TBI. The mice who sustained a TBI spent more time pausing in multiple goal zones than controls following the 3rd rotation of the goal zone location to novel quadrants. This finding suggests that TBI mice are more susceptible to memory interference or could have lower working memory limits than controls. This putative deficit in working memory persisted at 3 months after injury. This data creates a physiological and behavioral framework for relating the underlying causes of TBI-induced cognitive impairment as well as for improving behavioral and cognitive outcomes in individuals who sustain traumatic blast injuries.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.