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Jacqueline Woolley, Chair The University of Texas at Austin, SEA 4.212, Austin, TX 78712 • (512) 475-7596

Theresa A Jones

Professor Ph.D., University of Texas at Austin

Theresa A Jones

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Biography

My laboratory studies plasticity of neural structure and synaptic connectivity in adult animals following brain damage and during learning. Damage to the adult brain results in degeneration and neurotoxicity in regions that are connected to the site of principal injury as well as an apparently adaptive neuronal plasticity and reconfiguration of synaptic connections. Our research on the effects of focal damage to the sensorimotor cortex in adult rats indicates that neuronal responses to brain damage are dependent upon post-injury behavioral changes, including compensatory behaviors that animals develop spontaneously and those induced using motor skill learning as rehabilitative training. This work supports that the degenerative effects of brain damage induce a fertile environment for neuronal growth and synaptogenesis, but that this must be capitalized upon by appropriate behavioral pressures in order to effectively shape the neuronal restructuring. That is, the "use it or lose it" idea as applied to neuronal connections may be especially applicable to the maintenance and growth of synapses in areas which are connected to the site of an injury. Additional research focuses on motor learning-induced plasticity of the cerebellum and motor cortex in intact animals and how this is altered after damage to the neocortex of one hemisphere. An ongoing component of this research is plasticity of glial-neuronal interactions. In addition to attempting to understand mechanisms underlying neuronal adaptation to brain damage, a goal of this work is to address the efficacy of using behavior as "therapy" to promote brain changes which are functionally adaptive.

Selected Publications

Tennant, K. A., Adkins, D. L., Donlan, N. A., Asay, A. L., Thomas, N., Kleim, J. A. and Jones, T. A. (2010). The organization of the forelimb representation of the C57BL/6 mouse motor cortex as defined by intracortical microstimulation and cytoarchitecture. Cerebral Cortex, doi: 10.1093/cercor/bhq159.

Allred, R. A., Cappellini, C. and Jones, T. A. (2010). The “good” limb makes the “bad” limb worse: Experience-dependent interhemispheric disruption of functional outcome after cortical stroke in rats. Behavioral Neuroscience, 124: 124-132.

Kim, S. Y. and Jones, T. A. (2010) Lesion size-dependent synaptic and astrocytic responses in cortex contralateral to infarcts in middle aged rats. Synapse, 64: 659-671.

Tennant, K. A., Asay, A. L., Allred, R. P., Ozburn, A. R. and Jones, T. A. (2010). The Vermicelli and Capellini Handling Tests: Simple quantitative measures of dexterous forepaw function in rats and mice.Journal of Visualized Experiments, 41: 2076. link

Xu, T., Yu, X., Perlik, A. J., Tobin, W. F., Zweig, J. A., Tennant, K., Jones, T. and Zuo, Y. (2009). Rapid formation and selective stabilization of synapses for enduring motor memories. Nature, 462: 915-919.

Jones, T. A., Allred, R. P., Adkins, D. L., Hsu, J. E., O'Bryant, A. and Maldonado, M. A. (2009). Remodeling the brain with behavioral experience after stroke. Stroke, 40: S136-S138. html pdf

Tennant, K. A. and Jones, T. A. (2009) Sensorimotor behavioral effects of endothelin-1 induced small cortical infarcts in C57BL/6 mice. Journal of Neuroscience Methods, 181: 18-26.

Allred, R. P. and Jones, T. A. (2008). Maladaptive effects of learning with the less-affected forelimb after focal cortical infarcts in rats.  Experimental Neurology, 210: 172-181.

Adkins, D. L., Hsu, J. E. and Jones, T. A. (2008). Motor cortical stimulation promotes synaptic plasticity and behavioral improvements after sensorimotor cortical infarcts in rats.  Experimental Neurology, 212: 14-28.

Maldonado, M. A., Allred, R. P., Felthauser, E. L. and Jones, T. A. (2008). Rehabilitative training, but not voluntary running, improves recovery of skilled reaching after unilateral ischemic lesions of the sensorimotor cortex in rats. Neurorehabilitation and Neural Repair, 22: 250-261.

Allred, R. P., Adkins, D. L., Woodlee, M. T., Husbands, L. C., Maldonado, M. A., Kane, J. R., Schallert, T. and Jones, T. A. (2008).  The Vermicelli Handling Test:  a simple quantitative measure of dexterous forepaw function in rats.  Journal of Neuroscience Methods, 170: 229-244.

Allred, R. P. and Jones, T. A. (2008). Experience--a double edged sword for restorative neural plasticity after brain damage.  Future Neurology. 3: 189-198. pdf

Kleim, J. A. and Jones, T. A. (2008). Principles of experience-dependent neural plasticity:  Implications for rehabilitation after brain damage.  Journal of Speech Language and Hearing Research, 51: S225-S239.pdf

 

Interests

Neural plasticity across the lifespan, motor skill learning, mechanisms of brain and behavioral adaptation to brain damage, and glial-neuronal interactions

PSY 359H • Honors Research I

43775 • Fall 2014
Meets TTH 330pm-500pm SEA 3.250
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Three lecture hours a week for one semester. Prerequisite: Upper-division standing, Psychology 301 and 418 with a grade of at least C in each, six semester hours of upper-division coursework in psychology, a grade point average of at least 3.50 in psychology courses taken at the University, a University grade point average of at least 3.25, and consent of the honors adviser.

PSY 394P • Quantifying Brain Structure

43935 • Fall 2013
Meets M 100pm-400pm SEA 3.250
show description

Current Topics in Behavioral Neuroscience. Brain-behavior relationships, particularly recent research in behavioral neuroscience, including the anatomical and neurochemical mechanisms of behavioral events, and behavioral influences on the brain. Offered on the credit/no credit basis only. Neuroscience 394P (Topic 1: Current Topics in Behavioral Neuroscience) and Psychology 394P (Topic 1) may not both be counted.

PSY 379H • Honors Research II

43510 • Spring 2013
Meets F 300pm-600pm SEA 3.250
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Three lecture hours a week for one semester. Prerequisite: Upper-division standing, Psychology 301 and 418 with a grade of at least C in each, Psychology 458 and 359H, and consent of the honors adviser.

PSY 359H • Honors Research I

43390 • Fall 2012
Meets TTH 330pm-500pm SEA 3.250
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This course focuses on development of the honors research proposal. This includes choosing and refining a research topic, developing the hypothesis, performing an in depth review of the surrounding primary literature and designing a novel and feasible research project. You will present your topic and research proposal in oral and written formats and discuss and review proposals of others. We will also discuss professional issues, including the graduate school application process.

PSY 379H • Honors Research II

43865 • Spring 2011
Meets M 300pm-600pm SEA 2.224
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Course Description

The Psychology Department's Honors Program provides intense research experience to outstanding majors, culminating in the completion of an honors thesis. The program includes three courses: PSY 359H (Honors Research I), PSY 379H (Honors Research II) and PSY 158H (Honors Seminar). PSY 359H is a seminar course focused on developing the ideas, scholarly background and methodology of the honors project and discussion of research issues and future career goals.

Course Requirements

PREREQUISITE: PSY 301 AND 418 WITH A GRADE OF AT LEAST C IN EACH, 6 SEM HRS OF UPPER-DIV COURSEWORK IN PSY, A GPA OF AT LEAST 3.5 IN PSY COURSES TAKEN AT UT, A UT GPA OF AT LEAST 3.25, AND CONSENT OF THE HONORS ADVISER.

Texts

Course packet of readings

PSY 394P • Adv In Neural Plasticity/Behav

43935 • Spring 2011
Meets F 300pm-600pm SEA 4.242
show description

Seminars in Behavioral Neuroscience and Biopsychology. Three lecture hours a week for one semester. May be repeated for credit when the topics vary. Prerequisite: Graduate standing and consent of instructor.

PSY 359H • Honors Research I

43235 • Fall 2010
Meets TTH 330pm-500pm SEA 3.250
show description

Course Description

The Psychology Department's Honors Program provides intense research experience to outstanding majors, culminating in the completion of an honors thesis. The program includes three courses: PSY 359H (Honors Research I), PSY 379H (Honors Research II) and PSY 158H (Honors Seminar). PSY 359H is a seminar course focused on developing the ideas, scholarly background and methodology of the honors project and discussion of research issues and future career goals.

Course Requirements

PREREQUISITE: PSY 301 AND 418 WITH A GRADE OF AT LEAST C IN EACH, 6 SEM HRS OF UPPER-DIV COURSEWORK IN PSY, A GPA OF AT LEAST 3.5 IN PSY COURSES TAKEN AT UT, A UT GPA OF AT LEAST 3.25, AND CONSENT OF THE HONORS ADVISER.

Texts

TBA

PSY 394P • Quantifying Brain Structure

44110 • Spring 2010
Meets M 100pm-400pm SEA 2.224
(also listed as NEU 385L )
show description

Seminars in Behavioral Neuroscience and Biopsychology. Three lecture hours a week for one semester. May be repeated for credit when the topics vary. Prerequisite: Graduate standing and consent of instructor.

PSY 308 • Biopsychology

43990 • Fall 2009
Meets TTH 1230pm-200pm NOA 1.124
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PRELIMINARY SYLLABUS
 
PSY308 Biopsychology Fall 2009
Location: NOA 1.124   Time:  TTH 12:30-2:00p     Unique: 43990
 
Instructor:  Prof. Theresa Jones, office: Seay Hall 5.248, email: tj@psy.utexas.edu
Phone:  232-1814; Office Hours:  W 2-3, Th 2-3 and by appointment
 
Teaching Assistant:  Aaron Asay, office: SW7 Room 103, email: aaronlasay@mail.utexas.edu
Office Hours: T 11-12, W 12-1 and by appointment
 
Content:  Introduction to the biological bases of psychological processes and behavior.  Our emotional
experiences, personal identity, motor skills, sexuality, complex thoughts and other behaviors are all a
product of our brain and the rest of the nervous system.  Biopsychology is the study of the biological basis
of behavior.  This course covers basic concepts, findings and research in the field of Biopsychology.
 
Textbook:  Biopsychology,  John PJ Pinel, 7th edition
 
Schedule:
The course is composed of 4 segments, each ending in a test.  The first segment is focused on
developing the language of neuroscience and learning basic principles of neuroanatomy and
neurophysiology. The second covers sensory systems, including vision, audition, somtatosensation and
taste and smell.  The third segment is focused on hormones and the neurobiology of sex, sleep and other
behaviors.  The last is focused on learning, neural plasticity and select brain disorders and dysfunction.  A
more specific schedule will be available by the first class meeting.
 
Grading
TESTS
Tests 1-4 make up 98% of the final grade.  The tests include material from lectures, readings and points
brought up in discussion during class.  They will emphasize material listed in the schedule.  However, they
may also include knowledge of material covered in previous exams. The tests include multiple choice,
matching, true-false and short answers.  Each of the 4 tests counts 24.5% toward the final grade.   
 
There are no make-up tests.  If a test is missed, it is given a score of "0".  Your grade will then be based
on the remaining 3 tests plus test 5.
 
Test 5 is comprehensive and will be held during final exams. If you have taken all of the first 4 tests, it is
optional.  If your test 5 grade is higher than any of your first 4 test grades, then the worst of the first 4 tests
grades will be dropped and substituted with the test 5 grade.  If your test 5 grade is the lowest of your 5
tests, then it will be dropped. Test 5 counts 24.5% toward your final grade.   
 
Final Exam:  Thursday, December 10, 2:00–5:00 pm
 
During the tests, students are encouraged to make written comments explaining their choice of answers to
specific questions.  These comments sometimes result in partial credit given for incorrect answers and
never result in a further reduction in credit.  After the tests, students may dispute the answers in writing
only.  Convincing written explanations that are provided after the test may result in partial or full credit for
the question.  Extremely poor explanations will result in an additional reduction in credit equal to the total
value of the disputed question(s).
 
Class Participation
Class participation credit counts 2% towards the final grade.  This includes participation in short thought
questions during class and attendance.  
 
 
 
 
Computation of grades
Each test is computed as the total percent correct:
[(Total number of correct answers + extra credit points) ÷ (Total possible points not including extra credit
questions)] X 100.  Scores are rounded up to the 100th decimal place.  The final test grade is determined
from the average percent correct on the 4 best tests.  After averaging the test grades (98% of the final
grade) and adding class participation credit (2% of the final grade), the totals are rounded, i.e., 89.55% =
90%, 89.54% = 89%.   
 
We WILL use the plus/minus grade system this semester.
 
Grade cutoffs are:  93-100%=A, 90-92%=A-, 87-89%=B+, 83-86%=B, 80-82%=B-, 77-79%=C+, 73-
76%=C, 70-72%=C-, 67-69%=D+, 63-66%=D, 60-62%=D-, Less than 60%=F
 
Prerequisites:  The Psychology Department will drop all students who do not meet the prerequisite:  PSY
301 with a C or better.
 
Special Needs:  The University of Texas at Austin provides upon request appropriate academic
accommodations for qualified students with disabilities. To determine if you qualify, contact the Office of the
Dean of Students at 471-6259, 471-4641 TTY.  If they certify your needs, I will work with you to make
appropriate arrangements.  
 
 

PSY 394P • Curr Tpcs In Behav Neurosci

44275 • Fall 2009
Meets W 300pm-600pm SEA 4.242
(also listed as NEU 394P )
show description

Three lecture hours a week for one semester. May be repeated for credit when the topics vary. Prerequisite: Graduate standing and consent of instructor.

PSY 394P • Quantifying Brain Structure

44280 • Fall 2009
Meets M 100pm-400pm SEA 4.242
(also listed as NEU 385L )
show description

Three lecture hours a week for one semester. May be repeated for credit when the topics vary. Prerequisite: Graduate standing and consent of instructor.

PSY 379H • Honors Research II-W

43280 • Spring 2009
Meets TF 200pm-330pm SEA 2.224
show description

Two lecture hours and two laboratory hours a week for one semester. Prerequisite: Upper-division standing, Psychology 301 and 418 with a grade of at least C in each, Psychology 458 and 359H, and consent of the honors adviser.

PSY 394P • Adv In Neural Plasticity/Behav

43345 • Spring 2009
Meets F 400pm-700pm SEA 4.242
(also listed as NEU 394P )
show description

Current Topics in Behavioral Neuroscience. Brain-behavior relationships, particularly recent research in behavioral neuroscience, including the anatomical and neurochemical mechanisms of behavioral events, and behavioral influences on the brain. Offered on the credit/no credit basis only. Neuroscience 394P (Topic 1: Current Topics in Behavioral Neuroscience) and Psychology 394P (Topic 1) may not both be counted.

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