Christina L. Williams
Professor of Psychology and Neuroscience
Education & Training
Ph.D., Rutgers University 1981
My research uses both mouse and rat models to examine how nutrients and hormones alter the course of brain and behavioral development. For example, we find that supplementing or depleting nutrients like choline or folate from the maternal diet have long-term consequences on rats' memory function during early development, in adulthood, and into old age. Specifically, choline supplementation appears to improve memory while short periods of choline deprivations during prenatal development appears to selectively impair attentional processes. A second line of research examines the effects of estrogen and other steroid hormones on brain and memory function across the lifespan. I am interested in both early developmental effects of estrogens (that is, the development of sex differences in cognition) as well as effects of replacement estrogens after reproductive senescence. Recently our laboratory has begun to use various genetically altered strains of mice (knockouts and transgene) to examine how nutrients and hormones during development may interact with genotype to alter the development of learning and memory processes.
Effects of nutrients and hormones on the brain, neuroscience, development, estrogen, choline
Cheng, R-K, Meck, WH, and Williams, CL. "α7 Nicotinic acetylcholine receptors and temporal memory: Synergistic effects of combining prenatal choline and nicotine on reinforcement-induced resetting of an interval clock." Learning and Memory 13.2 (2006): 127-134. Full Text
Meck, WH, and Williams, CL. "Organizational effects of perinatal choline supplementation on spatial exploration as a function of sex, time of day, and aging (Submitted)." Neurobiology of Aging in press (2006). (Academic Article)
Mellott, TJ, Williams, CL, Meck, WH, and Blusztajn, JK. "Prenatal choline supplementation advances hippocampal development and enhances MAPK and CREB activation." FASEB J 18.3 (March 2004): 545-547. Full Text
Sandstrom, NJ, and Williams, CL. "Spatial memory retention is enhanced by acute and continuous estradiol replacement." Hormones and Behavior 45.2 (2004): 128-135. Full Text
Meck, WH, and Williams, CL. "Metabolic imprinting of choline by its availability during gestation: implications for memory and attentional processing across the lifespan." Neurosci Biobehav Rev 27.4 (September 2003): 385-399. (Review)
McKeon-O'Malley, C, Siwek, D, Lamoureux, JA, Williams, CL, and Kowall, NW. "Prenatal choline deficiency decreases the cross-sectional area of cholinergic neurons in the medial septal nucleus." Brain Research 977.2 (2003): 278-283. Full Text
Matsubara, E, Bryant-Thomas, T, Pacheco, J, Henry, TL, Poeggeler, B, Herbert, D, Cruz-Sanchez, F, Chyan, Y-J, Smith, MA, Perry, G, Chain, DG, Neria, E, Shoji, M, Abe, K, Leone, A, Grundke-Iqbal, I, Wilson, GL, Ghiso, J, Williams, C, Refolo, LM, and Pappolla, MA. "Erratum: Melatonin increases survival and inhibits oxidative and amyloid pathology in a transgenic model of Alzheimer's disease (Journal of Neurochemistry 85 (1101-1108))." Journal of Neurochemistry 86.5 (2003): 1312--.
Matsubara, E, Bryant-Thomas, T, Quinto, JP, Henry, TL, Poeggeler, B, Herbert, D, Cruz-Sanchez, F, Chyan, Y-J, Smith, MA, Perry, G, Shoji, M, Abe, K, Leone, A, Grundke-Ikbal, I, Wilson, GL, Ghiso, J, Williams, C, Refolo, LM, and Pappolla, MA. "Melatonin increases survival and inhibits oxidative and amyloid pathology in a transgenic model of Alzheimer's disease." Journal of Neurochemistry 85.5 (2003): 1101-1108. Full Text
Albright, CD, Siwek, DF, Craciunescu, CN, Mar, M-H, Kowall, NW, Williams, CL, and Zeisel, SH. "Choline availability during embryonic development alters the localization of calretinin in developing and aging mouse hippocampus." Nutritional Neuroscience 6.2 (2003): 129-134. Full Text
Sandstrom, NJ, Loy, R, and Williams, CL. "Prenatal choline supplementation increases NGF levels in the hippocampus and frontal cortex of young and adult rats." Brain Research 947.1 (2002): 9-16. Full Text