We study the behavioral and brain processes that give animals the ability to organize complex behavior. Our research in the areas of comparative cognition and neuroscience explores the psychological and neural processes underlying highly organized behavior. Our methods include cognitive paradigms tailored to the study of animals, behavioral neuroscience techniques, and computer simulations of cognitive processes. Current research in the lab is focused in three areas, namely, the psychological processes involved in the organization of behavior through time, the effects of adolescent nicotine exposure on adult cognitive processes, and the study of brain structures and neurotransmitter systems involved in cognition.
Courses Frequently Taught:
Basic Learning Processes (undergraduate)
Animal Cognition (undergraduate)
Introduction to Learning Core (graduate)
Comparative Cognition (graduate)
Connectionism and Neural Networks (graduate)
Rowan, J. D., McCarty, M. K.*, Kundey, S. M. A., Osburn, C. D.*, Renaud, S. M., Kelley, B. M., Matoushek, A. W., & Fountain, S. B. (In press). Adolescent exposure to methylphenidate impairs serial pattern learning in the serial multiple choice (SMC) task in adult rats. Neurotoxicology and Teratology.
Chenoweth, A. M., & Fountain, S. B. (2015). Central muscarinic cholinergic involvement in serial pattern learning: atropine impairs acquisition and retention in a serial multiple choice (SMC) task in rats. Neurobiology of Learning and Memory, 123, 18-27.
Renaud, S. M., Pickens, L. R. G., & Fountain, S. B. (2015). Paradoxical effects of injection stress and nicotine exposure experienced during adolescence on learning in a serial multiple choice (SMC) task in adult female rats. Neurotoxicology and Teratology, 48, 40-48. Full Text
Kundey, S. M. A., & Fountain, S. B. (2014). Rats abstract rules from a response series lacking a consistent motor pattern. Learning and Motivation, 46, 44-59.
Fountain, S. B., Rowan, J. D., & Wollan, M. O. (2013). Central cholinergic involvement in sequential behavior: Impairments of performance by atropine in a serial multiple choice task for rats. Neurobiology of Learning and Memory, 106, 118-126. Full Text
Pickens, L. R. G., Rowan, J. D., Bevins, R. A., & Fountain, S. B. (2013). Sex differences in adult cognitive deficits after adolescent nicotine exposure in rats. Neurotoxicology and Teratology, 38, 72-78. Full Text
Fountain, S. B., Rowan, J. D., Muller, M. D., Kundey, S. M. A., Pickens, L. R. G., & Doyle, K. E. (2012). The organization of sequential behavior: Conditioning, memory, and abstraction. In T. R. Zentall and E. A. Wasserman (Eds.), Handbook of Comparative Cognition (pp. 594-614). Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Fountain, S. B., & Doyle, K. E. (2011). Association and abstraction in sequential learning: "What is learned?" revisited. International Journal of Comparative Psychology, 24, 437-459.
Kundey, S. M. A., & Fountain, S. B. (2011). Irrelevant relations and the active search for pattern structure in rat serial pattern learning. Animal Cognition, 14, 359-368. Full Text
Kundey, S. M. A., & Fountain, S. B. (2010). Blocking in rat serial pattern learning. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Animal Behavior Processes, 36, 307-312. Full Text