St. Bonaventure University

Faculty


Hager, Audrey

hager-audrey_web

ACADEMIC DEPARTMENT
Psychology
ACADEMIC SCHOOL
School of Arts and Sciences

TITLES/RESPONSIBILITIES
Visiting Assistant Professor
CONTACT
Office phone: (716) 375-2498
Send an email
OFFICE
De La Roche Hall 100D 
COURSES TAUGHT
  • PSYC 101. Introduction to Psychology
  • PSYC 343. Physiological Psychology
  • PSYC 102 Biopsychology
  • PSYC 202L. Psychological Research Methods Lab
ACADEMIC DEGREES
  • Ph.D., Queen’s University, 2015
  • MSc, Queen’s University, 2008
  • B.A., State University of New York at Oswego (NY), 2006
OTHER EDUCATION
PROFESSIONAL BACKGROUND
ACCOMPLISHMENTS
Grants
  • Hager AM. (2017). Projection-specific dopaminergic neuron plasticity in the midbrain and the effects of cocaine. NIH Ruth L. Kirschstein NRSA Individual Postdoctoral Fellowship (F32).
Peer-Reviewed Publications
  • Hager AM, Gagolewicz PJ, Rodier S, Kuo M-C, Dumont EC and Dringenberg HC. 2015. Metaplastic up-regulation of LTP in the rat visual cortex by monocular visual training: Requirement of task mastery, hemispheric specificity, and NMDA-GluN2B involvement. Neuroscience, 293, 171-186. doi 10.1016/j.neuroscience.2015.02.027.
  • Hager AM and Dringenberg HC. 2012. Design of a noninvasive face-mask for ocular occlusion in rats and assessment in a visual discrimination paradigm. Behavior Research Methods, 44, 919-923. doi 10.3758/s13428-012-0219-8.
  • Hager AM and Dringenberg HC. 2010. Training-induced plasticity in the visual cortex of adult rats following visual discrimination learning. Learning and Memory, 17, 394-401. doi 10.1101/lm.1787110.
  • Hager AM and Dringenberg HC. 2010 Assessment of different induction protocols to elicit long-term depression (LTD) in the rat visual cortex in vivo. Brain Research, 1318, 33-41. doi 10.1016/j.brainres.2009.12.063.
TEACHING PHILOSOPHY
CURRENT RESEARCH INTERESTS/PROJECTS

I am interested in examining how neurofeedback training using EEG can be used to promote neuroplasticity and improve attention, focus, memory and other cognitive functions.

In addition, I am interested in examining how mindfulness meditation alters the brain to result in the positive outcomes of increased feelings of wellbeing, decreased stress, increased attention and focus among the many other positive benefits.

PERSONAL INTERESTS/COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT
If there is a science outreach event nearby, I will likely be there. I regularly participate in hands-on science outreach events that engage the community to learn more about psychology and the brain. In addition, I have presented workshops to the community on the topics of "The teenage brain" and "Adolescent Alcohol Use."

I also enjoy judging science fairs and inspiring K-12 students to question and think critically about the world around them.

Additional Biographical Information

I love how the brain, psychology and neuroscience research can give rise to powerful insights into behavior. I impart this enthusiasm and love of science to inspire undergraduate students to question and understand their own behavior and the neurobiological functioning within themselves.

I received my B.A. double majoring in cognitive science and information science with honors from the State University of New York at Oswego. I decided to follow my passion for learning and received an M.S. (2008) and Ph.D. (2015) in psychology, concentrating in the field of behavioral neuroscience from Queen’s University, located in Kingston, Ontario, Canada.

My early research involved examining the neurobiological mechanisms responsible for processes of visual learning and memory, where I discovered a novel form of metaplasticity in the visual system. During the last two years of my graduate work, I was a visiting assistant professor in the Psychology Department at Oswego State, teaching undergraduate courses in research methods and biopsychology.

The promise of excellent research and warmth all year round drew me to San Antonio, Texas, where I completed postdoctoral training at the University of Texas Health Science Center in the Department of Cellular & Integrative Physiology under the mentorship of Michael Beckstead, Ph.D., and Lynette Daws, Ph.D. As a trainee with the Addiction Research Treatment & Training Center of Excellence, I applied my knowledge of biological mechanisms relating to neuroplasticity to the study of how the brain is altered with addiction.

I was awarded an F32 grant in 2017 to examine how cocaine alters different dopamine neuron pathways of the midbrain. Continuing to follow my interests in teaching, I taught at St. Mary’s University in San Antonio, Texas, in 2018 in the Department of Biological Sciences, where I expanded my research to include human participants, leading the Neuroplasticity Neurofeedback Lab and mentoring undergraduate student research projects involving the use of EEG.

At St. Bonaventure, I am excited to be inspiring the next generation of scientists and critical thinkers and preparing current undergraduate students to be successful in their chosen careers!
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