Date of Award

Winter 1-2-2017

Degree Type

Honors Thesis

Department

Zoology and Physiology

First Advisor

Kara Pratt

Abstract

Bisphenol A (BPA) has been used as an additive in plastics as well as food storage cans. Concerns over the possible effects of BPA have caused many companies to avoid using the chemical. Here, we study the effect of BPA on the neural development of the Xenopus laevis tadpole, specifically the development of the visual system. For this study, tadpoles are reared in varying concentrations of BPA, and then visual system function is assessed at the behavioral, circuit, and single cell level. Our preliminary results suggest that sub-lethal concentrations of BPA significantly impact visual avoidance behavior. This behavioral deficit could be due to the observed decrease in synaptic activity. Additional experiments will be carried out to further characterize this decrease.

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