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Lisa Savage


Professor of Psychology



Ph.D., University of Minnesota
Post-doctoral training: VA Medical Center, San Diego
Area: Behavioral Neuroscience
Phone: 607-777-4383
Office: Science II, Room 258

Curriculum vitae (150kb)

Professional Activities:

Fellow of the American Psychological Association, Society for Neuroscience, and the Center for Developmental Behavioral Neuroscience

Research Interests:

Animal models of memory disorders, neurobiology of memory and reward

Research Description:

One of the main goals of psychology is to understand how organisms learn and remember information. The study of how memories are organized in the brain has advanced immensely in the last three decades. The use of animal models has enhanced the understanding of the biological processes involved in cognition, memory and emotion. There exists a wide range of methodologies to access etiologic and symptomatic factors of memory disturbances. Using drugs, diet, neurotoxins, and aged rodents, I model human memory disorders (i.e., Wernicke-Korsakoff's disease, Alcohol-Induced Dementia, Alzheimer's disease). My research entails a system level approach and uses multiple levels of analysis. Behavior of the whole organism is assessed before and after brain damage, and the extent of brain adaptation (molecular, cellular) is related to behavioral impairment. I am particularly interested in the interactions between specific types of learning and memory problems and specific neurochemical and neuroanatomical abnormalities. In a broad sense, this type of research contributes to the understanding of brain-behavior relationships. The goal of my research is to gain a better understanding of the neurobiology of memory and the development of psychological and pharmacological therapeutics for the treatment of memory disorders.

Philosophy of Graduate Training:

Students should be excited about, as well as devoted to, the topic they chose as their graduate study. This interest must span both course work and research. At Binghamton University our programs offer a unique balance between classroom and laboratory experiences. As a faculty member, I view my role in graduate education as a "colleague" to students. My aim is to advise students in theory as well as the design of sound research projects that will answer interesting questions about brain-behavioral relationships.

Selected Publications:

Fernandez, G.+, Stewart, W.* & Savage, L.M. (2016) Chronic drinking during adolescence predisposes the adult rat for continued heavy drinking: Neurotrophin and behavioral adaptation after long-term, continuous ethanol exposure. Plos 1.

Hall, J.* & Savage, L.M.  (2016). The re-emergence of the Nestin-cholinergic phenotype within the medial septum and diagonal band after exercise that rescues hippocampal ACh efflux and spatial behavior in the amnestic rat. Experimental Neurology, 278, 62-75.

Vedder, L.+, Hall, J.*, Jabrouin, K.R.* & Savage, L.M.  (2015). Interactions between chronic ethanol consumption and thiamine deficiency on neural plasticity, spatial memory and cognitive flexibility. Alcoholism; Clinical and Experimental Research. 39:2143-2153.

Bobal, M.* & Savage, L.M. (2015). The role of the ventral midline thalamus in cholinergic-based recovery in the amnestic rat. Neuroscience, 285, 260-268.

Hall, J.M., Vetreno, R.P. & Savage L.M. (2014). Differential cortical neurotrophin and cytogenetic adaptation after voluntary exercise in normal and amnestic rats. Neuroscience, 258, 131-146.

Roland, J.J., Stewart, A.L., Janke, K.L., Gielow, M.R., Kostek, J.A., Savage, L.M., Servatius, R.J. & Pang, K.C. (2014). Medial septum-diagonal band of broca (MSDB) GABAergic regulation of hippocampal acetylcholine efflux is dependent on cognitive demands. Journal of Neuroscience, 34, 506-514.

Savage, L.M., Hall, J.* & Resende, L.S.* (2012, invited review). Translational rodent models of Korsakoff syndrome reveal the critical neuroanatomical substrates of memory dysfunction and recovery. Neuropsychology Review, 22,195-209.

Vetreno, R.P.*, Hall, J.* & Savage, L.M. (2011, invited review). Alcohol-related amnesia and dementia: What animal models have told us about the relationships between etiological factors, neuropathology and cognitive impairments. Neurobiology of Learning and Memory, 96, 596-608.

Resende, L.S*., Ribeiro, A.M., Werner. D, Hall, J.* Savage, L.M. (2012). Thiamine deficiency degrades the links between spatial behavior and hippocampal synapsin I and phosphorylated synapsin I protein levels. Behavioural Brain Research, 232, 421-425.

* indicates student co-author

Last Updated: 9/28/17