Dissertations, Theses, and Capstone Projects

Date of Degree


Document Type


Degree Name



Cognitive Neuroscience


Joshua C. Brumberg

Subject Categories

Behavioral Neurobiology | Cognitive Neuroscience


Microglia, Novel Object Paradigm, Open Field Test, Lipopolysaccharide, Neuroinflammation, Somatosensory cortex


The brain performs cognitive processes finely orchestrated by timely precise action of neurons. Neurons functioning at their highest standard communicate with each other through perfectly functioning synapses. Microglia, as part of the immune system assist synaptic processing and have the ability to affect cognition. Indeed, microglia play a role in cognition. To investigate the link between microglia and cognition we utilized lipopolysaccharide (LPS) to pharmacologically activate microglia. LPS, normally present in the environment on the wall of Gram-negative bacteria is a pharmacological agent used to cause microglia activation in mice. LPS is a typical model to study changes induced by microglia activation. A systemic LPS inflammation was induced in C57BL/6 mice of either sex via a single intraperitoneal injection of low concentrations 0.5 mg/Kg LPS or 1mg/Kg LPS with 0.9% saline injection as a control and behavioral responses were evaluated with Ethovision XT. A modified version of the novel object paradigm helped us evaluate if the animal can discriminate the novel object based on texture. Although no significant difference was found in the mice’s ability to discriminate textures, other locomotion measures such as speed and total distance traveled revealed differences in the mouse’s performance to differentiate a novel object. There was significant difference on both parameters due to the presence of the novel object although the LPS treatment condition did not impact this behavior. The current study offers the instrumentation to test the effects of microglia activation on behavior.