Abigail Kerr


Associate Professor of Psychology



B.A., Wittenberg University
M.S., University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
Ph.D., University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Texas at Austin

Area of Psychology

Behavioral Neuroscience and Learning and Memory

Academic and Research Interests

The brain has an amazing capacity to adapt to environmental changes. This experience-dependent plasticity can be seen in a multitude of ways including the strengthening of synapses after learning, vascular remodeling following exercise, reorganization of the motor and sensory cortices after stroke, and behavioral recovery after damage. The primary goals of my research are to explore the behavioral and neuroanatomical effects of experience following exercise and/or nervous system damage. Specifically, I am interested in the role of vascular plasticity (angiogenesis and vascular remodeling) in behavioral outcome following aerobic exercise and ischemic stroke.  It is my goal for my students to learn to appreciate the incredible plastic capabilities of the brain and to understand how behavior, learning, and environmental stimulation interact to impact the structure and function of the central nervous system.  I hope that as students leave my classroom they will understand how to observe and ask questions about the world around them and how to use the scientific method to explore possible answers to those questions.

Classes Taught

General Psychology
Learning and Conditioning
Advanced Behavioral Processes
Brain Injury and Recovery
Foundations of Learning