- Experience, preference, and neural plasticity in adolecents
- Mechanisms of sound-induced seizures
- Efficacy of undergraduate research
Lately, research in my lab has focused on preference and exploratory behavior in adolescents. Using an adolescent rat model, we (my students and I) consider the influence of experience on performance of social and environmental preference tasks as well as neural activity evoked by the social and environmental challenges. In addition, we sometimes conduct experiments using a rodent model of acquired, reflex epilepsy that focus on neural correlates of seizures including plasticity in brain structures, and change in associated behavior, induced by seizure activity. All of my research involves collaboration with students. In fact, training undergraduate and M.A. students who are attractive to a variety of professional and/or doctoral programs as well as providing students the opportunity to "do good science" has become a priority in my research program.
Throughout my academic career I've spent time doing things related to undergraduate pedagogy in psychology and neuroscience—particularly promoting and considering opportunities outside the traditional classroom such as doing research. Currently, I serve as faculty advisor to the editorial board of IMPULSE, The Premier Undergraduate Neuroscience Journal and often review for Proceedings: National Conference on Undergraduate Research, and I lead the leadership team for a first year residential learning community called Brain Matters. Overall, I am committed to the value of student-faculty collaborative research and other creative endeavor and continue to spend time learning about and hopefully promoting experience-rich curricula and a place for psychology in STEM education.
- Postdoctoral training, Department of Neurophysiology, University of Wisconsin-Madison
- Ph.D., University of South Carolina
- B.S., Georgia State University
- Fennell, C., Peggs, C. A., Gaillard, C. E., Perez, A., Santiago, S. L., & Zrull, M. C. (2018) For adolescent rats, acute, but not periodic, environmental enrichment affects c-FOS expression in the amygdala. 2018 Society for Neuroscience Abstracts, 644.xx [available online]. Poster presented at the Society for Neuroscience 48th Annual Meeting, San Diego, CA.
- Godfrey, H., Liesegang, H. C., & Zrull, M. C. (2018) Enrichment during adolescence differently affects evoked activity in entorhinal cortex following a single enriching experience in early adulthood. 2018 Society for Neuroscience Abstracts, 33.xx [available online]. Poster presented at the Society for Neuroscience 48th Annual Meeting, San Diego, CA.
- Pavelka, M. N., Santiago, S. L., Clayton, P. M., Turner, E. B., Wood, M. R., Fennell, C. T., & Zrull, M. C. (2018) For adolescent rats, periodic environmental enrichment affects hippocampal c-FOS expression evoked by an acute enriching experience. 2018 Society for Neuroscience Abstracts, 644.xx [available online]. Poster presented at the Society for Neuroscience 48th Annual Meeting, San Diego, CA.
- Skinner, H. C., Santiago, S. L., Pavelka, M. N., Buchanan, L. B., Alewel, D. I., Barker, B. A., Pierce-Messick, R. C., & Zrull, M. C. (2017) Sex-differences in, and neural correlates of, social preference behavior in older adolescent rats. 2017 Society for Neuroscience Abstracts, 121.02 [available online]. Poster presented at the Society for Neuroscience 47th Annual Meeting, Washington, DC.
- Zrull, M. C., Alewel, D. I., Skinner, H. C., Santiago, S. L., Johnson, H. L., Snouse, S. J., & Arnold, T. J. (2016). Environmental enrichment reduces seizure frequency in adolescent rats prone to sound-induced seizures. 2016 Society for Neuroscience Abstracts, 594.22 [available online]. Poster presented at the Society for Neuroscience 46th Annual Meeting, San Diego, CA
- Zrull, M. C. (2015). Neuroscience. In J. Irons and R. Miller (Eds.) Academic advising: A handbook for advisors and students. Part 2. (pp. 31-34). Washington, DC: Society for the Teaching of Psychology. Available online at the Society for the Teaching of Psychology web site: http://teachpsych.org/ebooks/academic-advising-2015-vol2
- Zrull, M. C., Rocheleau, C. A., Smith, C., & Bergman,S. M. (2012). Curricular-based learning communities centered within a discipline. In K. Buch &K.E. Barron (Eds.), Discipline-centered learning communities: Creating connections among students, faculty, and curricula. New Directions for Teaching and Learning, 132, 19-29. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.
- Rocheleau, C. A., Smith, M. C., Bergman, S., & Zrull, M. C. (2011) Residential learning communities in psychology: How to get started.Appalachian State University In R.L. Miller and R.F. Rycek (Eds.) Promoting student engagement. Volume 1: Programs, techniques and opportunities (pp. 57-62). Washington, DC: Society for the Teaching of Psychology. Available online http://teachpsych.org/resources/e-books/pse2011/index.php.
- Wilson, K., Mary Crowe, M., Singh, J., Stamatoplos, A., Rubens, E., Gosney, J., Dimaculangan, D., Levy, F., Zrull, M., & Pyles, R. (2009) Using electronic portfolios to measure student gains from mentored research. Council on Undergraduate Research Quarterly, 29, 26-32.
- Zrull, M. C. (2008) Research in the rat lab: Some thoughts on undergraduates doing behavioral neuroscience research. In R.L. Miller, R.F. Rycek, M. Ware, E. Balcetis, S.T. Barney, B.C. Beins, S.R. Burns, R. Smith and M.E. Ware (Eds.) Promoting the undergraduate research experience in psychology (Section 4. pp. 168-172). Washington, DC: Society for the Teaching of Psychology. Available online http://teachpsych.org/resources/e-books/ur2008/ur2008.pdf.
- Dravland, M., Clapp, K., & Zrull, M. C. (2005) Sudden or gradual sound onset differentially affects audiogenic seizure severity in developmentally primed rats. Impulse 2005. Available online: http://impulse.schc.sc.edu/Arch_2005.html.
- Zrull, M. C. & Coleman, J. R. (1991) Structural features of neurons in whole grafts of the rat inferior colliculus. Hearing Research, 55, 117-132.
Department: Department of Psychology
Email address: Email me
Phone: (828) 262-8930
Fax: (828) 262-7538