Christina L. Williams

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

Medici, F, Puder, D, and Williams, CL. "Cholesterol screening in the pediatric office." Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences 623 (1991): 200-204.

Williams, CL, Barnett, AM, and Meck, WH. "Organizational effects of early gonadal secretions on sexual differentiation in spatial memory." Behav Neurosci 104.1 (February 1990): 84-97.

Meck, WH, Smith, RA, and Williams, CL. "Pre- and postnatal choline supplementation produces long-term facilitation of spatial memory." Dev Psychobiol 21.4 (May 1988): 339-353. Full Text

Williams, CL, and Blaustein, JD. "Steroids induce hypothalamic progestin receptors and facilitate female sexual behavior in neonatal rats." Brain Research 449.1-2 (1988): 403-407.

Williams, CL, and Blass, EM. "Development of postglucoprivic insulin-induced suckling and feeding in rats." American Journal of Physiology - Regulatory Integrative and Comparative Physiology 253.1 (1987): 22/1-.

Williams, CL, and Lorang, D. "Brain Transections Differentially Alter Lordosis and Ear Wiggling of 6-Day-Old Rats." Behavioral Neuroscience 101.6 (1987): 819-826. Full Text

Williams, CL. "Estradiol Benzoate Facilitates Lordosis and Ear Wiggling of 4- to 6-Day-Old Rats." Behavioral Neuroscience 101.5 (1987): 718-723. Full Text

Sullivan, RM, Brake, SC, Hofer, MA, and Williams, CL. "Huddling and independent feeding of neonatal rats can be facilitated by a conditioned change in behavioral state." Developmental Psychobiology 19.6 (1986): 625-635.