For my independent project, I wanted to conduct an experiment that would be meaningful in the world of cognitive neuroscience, since I have family members with neurological conditions such as Autism and Parkinsons. I wanted to model these conditions in fruit flies, and after reading papers, brainstorming over weekends, and receiving some help from Dr. Purdy, Dr. Leystra, and my fellow TRIP peers, I finally decided on an experiment. I plan to test the effects of Huperzine-A, an active ingredient found in memory supplements, on memory in teens with some form of memory disturbance, such as Autism or ADHD. I plan to model this experiment by exposing flies and larvae to constant light to create memory disturbance. Then, I plan to conduct a larvae memory assay to assess changes in memory. I will also measure how memory was affected in flies without memory disturbance as well.
Overall, I am very grateful for what I have already learned in this program so far, and I can’t wait to conduct my independent experiment!