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Name: Anna Whetstone '12
Honors in: Neuroscience
Hometown: Hummelstown, Pa.
Major/minor: Neuroscience/ Spanish
Title of project: Sex Differences in the Ability to Learn and Localize Sound in the Rat Model
Project advisor: Dr. Sarah Johnson and Dr. Stacey Zaremba
Abstract or brief description: I am investigating sex differences in rats in their ability to use auditory localization as well as looking at their ability to learn and become better at sound localization.
How did you get interested in your topic? I have always been fascinated by the brain and how it is the seat of the mind. In particular, the idea of sex differences between males and females has always been interesting to me and I wanted to investigate if differences occur in cognitive abilities as well as explore possible reasons for these to happen.
Do you intend to research your topic further? If so, how? I intend to continue to look at sex differences in both humans and rodents and to explore this from a more neurobiological level.
How did you benefit academically by conducting research/participating in honors? By participating in honors, I learned great self discipline and time management. I also learned more about the research process and how things don’t always work out as planned, especially when working with animals.
How has the department (or faculty advisor) prepared you for the future? The biology department, and in particular the neuroscience department, have prepared me by pushing me to be my best and to always question ideas and look for deeper meanings.
What advice do you have for other students interested in Honors? First of all, students interested in honors need to understand that it is a lot of work, and for science honors students in particular, they need to learn to roll with the punches because of problems that may arise while researching. I encourage all students interested in honors to just go for it, because it is a very rewarding experience.
My future plans: I plan to take a few years off school to work in the research field, and then attend medical school to hopefully one day become a neurologist.