Who We Are:

Team RITALIN (Research in Testing ADHD's Link to Impulsivity in Neuroscience) is an undergraduate research team in the 4-year Gemstone Honors Program at the University of Maryland, College Park. The team consists of 11 students from the graduating class of 2014 who are all interested in neuroscience who come from a variety of majors ranging from neurobiology/physiology to bioengineering. Team RITALIN is working with Dr. Matt Roesch, an assistant professor from the University of Maryland Psychology Department who researches neural mechanisms of cognition and their disturbance in disorders such as addiction.


The Problem:

Currently, there is no well-established and experimentally verified neurological basis for ADHD, thus the disorder has been diagnosed based on behavioral observations instead of quantitative measures. This insufficient method of diagnosing ADHD has led to numerous misdiagnoses, rising medical costs, and incorrect medication prescriptions, which can be detrimental to the health of patients due to potential harmful side effects.

Our Goal:

Team RITALIN plans to examine the validity of the fetal nicotine rat model of ADHD by observing the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) in the rat and its relation with impulsivity during the stop-signal task; in addition, we will establish whether Adderall administration alters mPFC neural firing and improves stop-signal task performance of this animal model. These results will determine whether the fetal nicotine rat model could be used to further study the neurological basis of ADHD.