Mentor: Dr. Natalie Ebner
College of LS
"I first got involved with research in order to try out what it is like to be working in a research lab. I stayed because I loved the work I am doing and it confirmed that I want to do research the rest of my life."
- Physical Function
Hobbies and Interests
- Playing Music
- Working Out
The Effects of the Neuropeptide Oxytocin on Physical Function in Aging
My experiment will be conducted in the context of a larger clinical study on the chronic effects of intranasal oxytocin on inflammation, cognition, and physical function in adults, aged 63 years and older. In particular, in a between-subject, double-blind approach, 24 older females and 24 older males will be randomly assigned to self-administer either oxytocin or placebo via a nasal spray twice a day over a period of four weeks. The study will comprise one screening visit, three baseline visits, and three post-intervention visits, during which comprehensive cognitive, socioemotional, and physical function test batteries will be administered. My research project will examine the extent to which chronic oxytocin compared to placebo administration will positively affect performance in three physical functioning tasks: (1) the Grip Strength measuring strength of hand grip; (2) the GaitRite as a measure of variations in walking when the mind id occupied; and (3) unilateral knee extension/flexion task measuring isolated muscle function.