Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts - Psychology



First Advisor

Dr. James Schaeffer

Second Advisor

Dr. Nathan Sparkman

Third Advisor

Dr. Steven Estrada

Fourth Advisor

Dr. Luis Aguerrevere


Every year around 2 million people in the United States (US) suffer a traumatic brain injury. Those people are often at a higher risk of post-TBI psychiatric illness, like anxiety and depression. Animal models of TBI are a useful way to measure such psychiatric illnesses in a pre-clinical setting. There were two purposes of this study: the first being to test the modified Marmarou TBI model, and second to investigate anxiety- and depression-like symptoms in C57Bl6/J mice following a TBI. The modified Marmarou model used different weights (95g, 30g, & sham) to see how severity affected the manifestation of anxiety-like and depression-like symptoms. Anxiety-like behavior was tested using the elevated zero maze (ZM), and the open field test (OF). Depression-related behavior was tested using the forced swim test (FST). Lastly, the effects that the TBI had on motor coordination was also tested using a rotarod. The mice were put through four trials in each test over seven days post-TBI with a three day inter-trial interval between the first two trials and the last two. Results indicated that TBI did not cause anxiety or depression-like behaviors or any deficits involving motor coordination. In conclusion, future studies are needed in order to understand how effective this weight-drop model is, or if it was the behavioral tests that needed to be altered in order to measure anxiety and depression-like behavior more accurately.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

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