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Department Faculty

Alexis Collier

Recipient of OSU Department of Psychology Distinguished Teaching Award (2000)

Following her undergraduate education in 1973, Collier received graduate training in developmental psychobiology at Princeton University in 1974 and her Ph.D. in learning and motivation from the University of Washington in 1976. Collier also received training in behavioral medicine during a sabbatical year at Wright State University in 1987. She has served as a grant review panel member for the National Institute of Mental Health, and as consulting editor for the American Psychological Association's Journal Supplement Abstract Service. Her research focus has been in the area of animal learning, motivation, and memory. An integrating theme in her work has been on species- and age-dependent considerations in assessing animal cognitive and memorial processes, particularly in aversive, stressful contexts in early development. A rat animal model is used in her research because such a model permits enhanced control of early experiences, allows easier assessment of the entire developmental period because the rat is a rapidly maturing organism, and provides for interventions that potentially permit investigations of the underlying mechanisms supporting learning. Collier's current work involves investigations of the correlates of arousal and learning in infants, and how the mother, an important component of the young organism's milieu, modulates arousal during infant learning.

Selected Publications


Coulter, X. Collier, A.C., & Campbell, B.A. (1976). Long-term retention of early Pavlovian fear conditioning in infant rats. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Animal Behavior Processes, 2, 48-56.

Collier, A.C. (1977). Preference for shock signals as a function of the temporal accuracy of the signals. Learning and Motivation, 8, 159-170.

Collier, A.C., Mast, J., Meyer, D.R., & Jacobs, C.E. (1979). Approach avoidance conflict in preweanling rats: A developmental study. Animal Learning & Behavior, 7, 514-520.

Collier, A.C., & Bolles, R.C. (1980). The ontogenesis of defensive reactions to shock in preweanling rats. Developmental Psychobiology, 13, 141-150.

Hennessy, M.B., Collier, A.C., Griffin, A.C., & Schwaiger, S. (1988). Plasma corticosterone fluctuations in an infant-learning paradigm. Behavioral Neuroscience, 102, 701-705.

Weihmuller, F.B., & Collier, A.C. (1990). The role of age dependent behaviors in the retention of an approach avoidance response in preweanling rats. Developmental Psychobiology, 23, 265-283.

Kennedy, S. & Collier, A.C. (in press). Stress-induced modulation of the immune response in the developing rat pup. Physiology and Behavior.