Professor Schmitzer-Torbert came to Wabash in the fall of 2006. He teaches in many of the the classes that make up the core of the psychology major (Introduction to Psychology, Research Methods and Statistics, and the Senior Capstone) as well as courses in Behavioral Neuroscience (how the nervous system produces movement, sensation, emotion, memory, etc.) and Introduction to Neuroscience. He has also taught a Freshman Tutorial (Me, my self, and my brain) that uses science fiction and other sources to examine personal identity. His research focuses on the brain systems that support learning and memory, and he has worked with a number of Wabash students to study the effect of addictive drugs on learning in rats, and to develop video games to test how humans learn to find their way through new environments (www.behaviorgames.com).
Prof. Schmitzer-Torbert lives in Crawfordsville with his family (and two cats and a dog). When he is not taking one of his children to a soccer game or swimming lessons, he likes to run on the Sugar Creek Trail, make new video games, or read science fiction.
PhD in Neuroscience, University of Minnesota, January 2005
B.A., Summa Cum Laude with Honors in Psychology, Knox College, June 2000
PSY 101 - Introduction to Psychology
PSY 104 - Introduction to Neuroscience
PSY 201/202 - Research Methods and Statistics I/II
PSY 233 - Behavioral Neuroscience
PSY 333 - Advanced Behavioral Neuroscience
PSY 302 - Literature Review
PSY 495/496 - Senior capstone
Freshman Tutorial - Me, my self and my brain
(* indicates Wabash student co-author/presenter)
Schmitzer-Torbert, N. and MacDonald, A. (to be presented in November, 2011). Relationship between individual differences in navigation strategies and addiction vulnerability. Poster to be presented at the Society for Neuroscience Annual Meeting, Washington, DC.
This is your rat on drugs: The effect of cocaine on habit learning in rats. Department of Psychology, DePauw University (2010).
Apostolidis, S.*, Ritz, R.*, Blackwell, J.*, Amoa, R.*, Sun, S.* and Schmitzer-Torbert, N. (2010). Lesions targeting the rat infralimbic cortex and dorsolateral striatum block facilitation of habit learning by post-training cocaine injections. Poster presented at the Society for Neuroscience Annual Meeting, San Diego, CA.
van der Meer, M., Johnson, A, Schmitzer-Torbert, N.C. and Redish, A.D. (2010). Triple dissociation of information processing in dorsal striatum, ventral striatum, and hippocampus on a learned spatial decision task. Neuron 67, 25-32.
Schmitzer-Torbert, N.C. and Redish, A.D. (2008). Task-dependent encoding of space and events by striatal neurons is dependent on neural subtype. Neuroscience, 153(2), 349-360
Schmitzer-Torbert, N.C. (2007). Place- and response-learning in human virtual navigation: Behavioral measures and gender differences. Behavioral Neuroscience, 121(2), 277-290.