This is the website for David A Townsend.
EducationI graduated with a BA in psychology with highest honors from Rutgers University. I then continued on at Rutgers to receive a MS and PhD from the biopsychology and behavioral neuroscience program.
My undergraduate and masters theses advisor was Dr. Tracy Shors. My PhD dissertation advisor was Carolyn Rovee-Collier.
I also have an associates degree from Brookdale Community College.
WorkI began my postdoctoral career as a research fellow at the Rutgers Early Learning Project. I then moved to Kansas, where I was an assistant professor of psychology at Pittsburg State University, before returning to the east coast to care for an elderly family member with vascular dementia. Since then I have worked as a research specialist and as an institutional review board analyst. I have also been a consultant to the Institute for the Study of Child Development.
ResearchI have done research on many facets of learning and memory in infants and rodents (always separately), including the association formation and memory retrieval in infants, general learning abilities in rodents, differential behavioral factor analysis in differing mice strains, and stress, neurogenesis, and learning.
My peer-reviewed publications include:
Shors, T.J., Townsend, D.A., Zhao, M., Kozorovitshiy, Y., & Gould, E. Neurogenesis may relate to some but not all types of hippocampal-dependent learning. Hippocampus, 12:578-584, 2002. [Over 500 citations]
Townsend, D.A, & Shors, T.J. Stress effects on fear conditioning. Integrative Physiological and Behavioral Science, 39, http://www.pavlovian.org/, 2004.
Kolata, S., Light, K., Townsend, D.A., Hale, G., Grossman, H., & Matzel, L.D. Variations in working memory retention predict individual differences in general learning abilities among genetically diverse mice. Neurobiology of Learning and Memory, 84:241-246, 2005.
Matzel, L.D., Townsend, D.A., Grossman, H., Han, Y.R., Hale, G., Light, K., & Kolata, S. Exploration in outbred mice covaries with general learning abilities irrespective of stress reactivity, emotionality, and physical attributes. Neurobiology of Learning and Memory, 86:228-240, 2006.
Grossman, H., Hale, G., Light K., Kolata, S., Townsend, D.A., Goldfarb, Y., & Kusnecov, A., Matzel, L. Pharmacological modulation of stress reactivity dissociates general learning ability from the propensity for exploration. Behavioral Neuroscience, 121:949-64, 2007.
Townsend, D.A. The transitivity of preconditioned infantile memories during deferred imitation. Dissertation Abstracts International: Section B: The Sciences and Engineering, 68:1343, 2007.
Matzel, L., Babiarz, J., Townsend, D.A., Grossman, H., & Grumet, M. Neuronal cell adhesion molecule deletion induces a cognitive and behavioral phenotype reflective of impulsivity. Genes, Brain and Behavior, 7: 470-480, 2008.
Matzel, L.D., Grossman, H., Light, K., Townsend, D., Kolata, S. Age-related declines in general cognitive abilities of Balb/C mice are associated with disparities in working memory, body weight, and general activity. Learning and Memory, 15: 733-746, 2008.
Ramos, J, W., Townsend, D.A., Kolata, S., Light, K., Piarulli, D., Hale, G., & Matzel, L.D. Deletion of PEA-15 in mice is associated with specific impairments of spatial learning abilities. BMC Neuroscience, 10:134, 2009.