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Students and Research Colleagues of Dr. Paul Nealen

  • Chris MagulickChris Magulick

    Chris joined my lab in 2012, and together with Dr. Katalin Komjati, we devised a study to assess the degree to which variation in human tasking performance is a function of central, as opposed to peripheral, physiological properties.  Chris continues to recruit and test human subjects in his study of reaction time and ulnar nerve performance. E-mail him at C.J.Magulick@iup.edu to participate in our study.

    Matt Reitzell

    Matt ReitzellMatt joined my lab in 2011.  Over the next year he built and tested a computer-controlled operant training/testing device for use in investigating the neural mechanisms of auditory learning.  Matt successfully tested the operant apparatus by training several zebra finches to perform the first stages of auditory operant discrimination.  We will follow Matt's behavioral training of our avian subjects with neurophysiological recordings to assess where and how auditory learning has shaped neurons and their performance.

    Zackary AnkneyZackary Ankney

    Zack joined my lab in 2010 to conduct a human pulmonary study of his own design in order to assess the ability of human patient body position to compromise pulmonary capabilities.

    • Research presentations at the IUP Undergraduate Scholars Forum and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania University Biologists’ meetings in 2010
    • Undergraduate Research Award from the IUP School of Graduate Studies and Research
    • Named the Outstanding Student for the Department of Biology for 2009–2010
    • Biology honors thesis entitled “Influence of Body Posture on Pulmonary Flow Rates”

    Following graduation from IUP, Zack worked as a medical editor on two health-related textbooks while preparing his applications for medical school. He then began medical studies at the Jefferson Medical College of Thomas Jefferson University, beginning in the Fall of 2012.

    Donald MillerDonald Miller

    Don joined my lab as a freshman in 2009. Since then, he has served as my teaching assistant in a variety of courses, and also has served as an animal care technician.

    Don has conducted several independent research projects in my lab, including a neural auditory study in the zebra finch as well as study of human exercise physiology, focusing on the coordination of human physiological responses to an exercise challenge.

    Don’s research and academic achievements include:

    • Smythe Memorial Award from the IUP Department of Biology
    • Sushak Undergraduate Fund For Excellence Award from IUP Department of Biology
    • Undergraduate Research awards from the IUP School of Graduate Studies and Research (twice)
    • Selection as an IUP Ambassador
    • Poster presentation at Undergraduate Research at the capital (Pa.)
    • Poster presentations at the IUP Undergraduate Scholars Forum (2009, third place award; 2010, first place award)
    • Poster presentations at the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania University Biologists’ meetings (2009, second place award; 2010, first place award)
    • Pechan scholarship winner from the IUP College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics
    • Independent research grants (2) from the Pennsylvania Academy of Science
    • Phi Kappa Phi Fellowship
    • CPUB Outstanding Student for 2012
    • Biology Honors thesis, entitled "Anticipatory physiological changes mediate immediate cardiovascular demands at the onset of human exercise"

    Following his graduation from IUP in 2012, Don began medical studies at the Milton S. Hershey Medical School of the Pennsylvania State University, beginning in the Fall of 2012.

    Jason Wallach

    Jason explored the ability of animal social setting to influence neural processing of communications sounds. Jason recorded male zebra finch song under a variety of social settings (isolated, with female, with another male), and then used these sounds as playback stimuli for assessment of the finch neural auditory response during the same series of social settings.

    • IUP Biology graduate (2008)
    • Cook Honors College (2008)
    • Biology honors thesis, entitled "Social Modulation of HVC Auditory Response in Taeniopygia guttata, Zebra Finch"

    After graduating from IUP, Jason enrolled in the Ph.D. program in Neuropharmacology at the University of the Sciences, Philadelphia

    Dominic LucianoDominic Luciano

    Nick conducted experiments designed to assess the degree to which the left and right hemispheres of the zebra finch brain could independently process sounds. Nick recorded zebra finch songs, and then digitally modified the song frequency structure to create series of auditory test stimuli. These stimuli were used to stimulate neural auditory responses which were assessed in simultaneously dual-hemisphere recording sessions in awake and anesthetized birds.

    • IUP Biology graduate (2008)
    • Cook Honors College (2008)
    • Undergraduate Research Award, IUP Department of Biology
    • Biology honors thesis: Hemispheric Asymmetry of HVC Auditory Neural Response

    Following his graduation from IUP, Nick enrolled in the Ph.D. program in Neuroscience at Duke University

    Matthew Dimond

    During his brief stay in my lab, Matt recorded and measured zebra finch song stimuli under a variety of zebra finch social settings, and measured their primary characteristics to assess how an audience can influence songs features.

    After graduation from IUP, Matt enrolled in the doctorate of chiropractic program at New York Chiropractic College