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Academics Psychology Faculty & Staff

Academics Psychology Faculty & Staff

Neil Schmitzer-Torbert

PROFESSOR OF PSYCHOLOGY, DEPT CHAIR
Picture of Schmitzer-Torbert, Neil
CONTACT:
Baxter Hall 319
765-361-6076
torbertn@wabash.edu
Personal webpage

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 (virtualnavigationtools.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. 

EDUCATION

PhD in Neuroscience, University of Minnesota, January 2005
B.A., Summa Cum Laude with Honors in Psychology, Knox College, June 2000
 

RECENT COURSE OFFERINGS

PSY 101 - Introduction to Psychology
PSY 102 - Human Sexual Behavior
PSY 201/202 - Research Methods and Statistics I/II
PSY 204 - Principles of Neuroscience
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
 

RECENT PRESENTATIONS

(* indicates Wabash student co-author/presenter)

Bowes, D.*, Rains, A.*, Konishi, K., Dahmani, L., Bohbot, V.D., Schmitzer-Torbert, N.C. (2016). Use of HPC-dependent navigation strategies is associated with low self-reported stress and high trait mindfulness. Poster presented at the Society for Neuroscience Annual Meeting, San Diego, CA.

Rains, A.*, Dahmani, L., Konishi, K., Ducharme, D., Bohbot, V., Schmitzer-Torbert, N. (2015). Trait mindfulness is not associated with the greater use of hippocampally-dependent navigation strategies. Poster presented in the Faculty for Undergraduate Neuroscience Poster Session of the Society for Neuroscience Annual Meeting in Chicago, IL.

Hong, L.*, Dahmani, L., Bohbot, V.D., Schmitzer-Torbert, N.C. (2014). Assessing navigation performance in virtual environments on mobile devices. Poster presented at the Society for Neuroscience Annual Meeting, Washington, D.C.

O’Rear, C.*, Owens, J.*, Stowers, S.*, Amoa, R.* (2013). Facilitation of habit-learning by post-training infusion of cocaine into the infralimbic cortex. Poster presented in the Psi Chi section of the Midwestern Psychological Association Annual Meeting in Chicago, IL.

Schmitzer-Torbert, N.C., Stowers, J.*, Casey, D.*, O’Rear, C.*, Apostolidis, S.*  (2012). Facilitation of habit learning by post-training infusion of cocaine into the infralimbic cortex. Poster presented at the Society for Neuroscience Annual Meeting, New Orleans, LA.

Schmitzer-Torbert, N. and MacDonald, A.  (2011).  Relationship between individual differences in navigation strategies and addiction vulnerability.  Poster to be presented at the Society for Neuroscience Annual Meeting, Washington, DC.

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.  

Kaster, M.* and Schmitzer-Torbert, N.C. (2009). Post-training cocaine injections facilitate habitual lever pressing in rats. Poster presented at the Society for Neuroscience Annual Meeting, Chicago, IL.

Schmitzer-Torbert, N.C. and Braitman, D.* (2008).  Effects of dorsolateral striatal lesions on place- and response-learning in a complex maze.  Poster presented at the Society for Neuroscience Annual Meeting, Washington, D.C.

Schmitzer-Torbert, N.C. and Hewetson, B.*  (2007).  Place- and response-learning in human virtual navigation: Sensitivity to training parameters.  Poster presented at the Society for Neuroscience Annual Meeting, San Diego, CA.

Schmitzer-Torbert, N.C.  (2006).  Assessing place- and response-strategies in human virtual navigation.  Poster presented at the Society for Neuroscience Annual Meeting, Atlanta, GA, 365.8.

RECENT PUBLICATIONS

Schmitzer-Torbert, N.C., Apostolidis, S. *, Amoa, R. *, O’Rear, C. *, Kaster, M. *, Stowers, J. *, Ritz, R. * (2015).  Post-training cocaine administration facilitates habit learning and requires the infralimbic cortex and dorsolateral striatum. Neurobiology of Learning and Memory, 118, 105-112.

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.