Dept. of Psychology, Behavioral Neuroscience Division
University of Connecticut, Box U-1020
Storrs, CT 06269
Office: (860) 486-2554
Born September 10, 1962 in Hartford, CT.
• Ph.D. in Biobehavioral Sciences, with concentration in Developmental Psychobiology, September, 1990. Biobehavioral Sciences Graduate Degree Program, University of Connecticut, Storrs, CT.
• B.S., Cum laude, in Zoology & Psychology, 1984. Duke University, Durham, NC.
• Associate Research Professor, University of Connecticut, 2004 – present.
• Assistant Research Professor, University of Connecticut, 1997 - 2004.
• Research Associate, Rutgers University,
Center for Molecular & Behavioral Neuroscience, 1994-1996.
• Postdoctoral Fellow, Rutgers University
Center for Molecular & Behavioral Neuroscience, 1990-1994.
• Predoctoral Research Fellow, University of Connecticut
Developmental Psychobiology Laboratory, 1985-1990.
•Research Technician, Duke University Hospital
Laboratory of Neuro-opthalmology, 1984-1985.
• Undergraduate Research Assistant, Duke University
Department of Psychology, 1982-1984.
• Early brain damage and cognitive/sensory processing deficits
• Developmental endocrine effects on neuromorphology and cognition
• Society for Neuroscience
• Rodin Remediation Academy
• International Society for Behavioral Neuroscience
RESEARCH SKILLS:Conduct behavioral studies of complex auditory discrimination, as well as other measures of learning and memory, in neonatally brain-injured rats as model for developmental sensory and learning/memory disorders. Injuries include focal lesions inducing anomalies of neuromigration, more extensive perinatal hypoxic-ischemic lesions simulating brain damage of prematurity, and explicit genetic manipulations (RNAi, knock-outs) of human disability “risk” genes. Experienced in the use of a wide range of behavioral techniques including maze learning, shuttle box, operant conditioning, and startle reduction. Employ experimental endocrinology techniques, including neonatal gonadectomy and hormone administration via injection and silastic implants, to assess hormonal contributions to anatomical and behavioral sex differences. Proficient in neurosurgical techniques including cortical ablation, kainic acid lesioning, and corpus callosum transection. Skilled in perfusion fixation and histological preparation and analysis of brain tissue.
•Albert M. Galaburda, M.D.
Director, Behavioral Neurology
Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center & Harvard Medical School
330 Brookline Ave.
Boston, MA, 02215
Phone: (617) 667-3235
• Paula Tallal, Ph.D.
Co-Director, Center for Molecular & Behavioral Neuroscience
Rutgers University, Newark, NJ 07102
Phone: (973) 353-1080 ext. 3201
• Victor H. Denenberg, Ph.D.
Professor Emeritus, Biobehavioral Sciences
University of Connecticut
Visiting Professor, Howard Hughes Medical Institute
University of Washington, Seattle, WA, 98195
Phone: (425) 378-1998
• April Ann Benasich, Ph.D.
Director, Infancy Studies Center
Rutgers University, Newark, NJ 07102
Phone: (973) 353-1080 ext. 3204
• Winter Brain Conference Fellowship Award, 1994.
• National Dyslexia Research Foundation Award for Distinguished Young Researcher in Cognitive Neuroscience, 1993.
• McDonnell-Pew Foundation, Cognitive Neuroscience Award, 1992.
• Rita Rudel Memorial Foundation Award for Outstanding Young Scientist in Neuropsychology, 1990.
• International Society for Developmental Psychobiology Travel Award, 1990.
• Women in Neuroscience Travel Award, 1989.
• NIH RO1, “Early HI Brain Injury and Behavioral Outcome in Rats.” P.I., R. Holly Fitch. $939,504. Period 7/1/06 – 6/30/2010.
• NIH Program Project, “Animal Models for Learning Disability IV (Project PI,
A. Galaburda)” Neurobehavior component PI, R. Holly Fitch. $1,139,218. Period 8/5/02 – 8/4/07.
• Research Foundation Award/University of Connecticut, “Brain Damage of Prematurity and Behavioral Consequences: A Rat Model.” PI, R. Holly Fitch., co-PI Etan Markus. $20,159. Period 6/1/02 – 5/31/03.
• NIH Program Project, “Animal Models for Learning Disability III (Project PI, A. Galaburda)” Neurobehavior component PI, R. H. Fitch. $812,512. Period 6/1/97 - 3/31/03.
• March of Dimes, "Auditory Processing Deficits as a Model for Language Impairment: Training and Enrichment Effects on Behavior and Neurophysiology." PI, R. Holly Fitch. $51,673. Period 6/1/98 - 5/31/00.
• McDonnell-Pew Program in Cognitive Neuroscience, “An Animal Model for the CNS Organization of Auditory Temporal Processing: A Proposed Precursor to Language Development.” PI, R. Holly Fitch. $60,000. Period 8/1/92 - 7/31/95.
• NIDCD Small Research Program, “An Animal Model for Cerebral Asymmetry.” PI, Paula Tallal, Co-PI, R. Holly Fitch. $65, 000. Period 12/01/90-11/30/92.
• Rita Rudel Research Award, “An Animal Model for Central Auditory Processing Disorder.” PI, R. Holly Fitch. $20,000. Period 10/1/90-9/30/92.
Total grant funding 1990 to 2007, $3.1 Million.
TEACHING & COMMUNITY SERVICE:
Teach a biannual graduate seminar on grant-writing at the University of Connecticut. Serve as an invited speaker to high school science classes, undergraduate Psychology and seminar classes, and serve as a regular guest speaker for graduate level courses at University of Connecticut. Attend weekly BNS seminar providing faculty feedback to student presentations. Provide an annual half-day lecture on Auditory Physiology for Foundations of Neuroscience seminar, Rutgers University (Feb. ’04, ‘03, ‘02, & ‘01). Served as primary advisor to 5 graduate students over a period of 7 years (1994 to present; 3 Ph.D’s graduated, 2 current), and on various MS and PhD committees. Train and supervise numerous high school students on summer internships, and undergraduates in honors program and/or student internships. Teaching evaluations in the Excellent range.
Provide Enrichment science seminars to local elementary schools from pre-K through 4th grade, including hands-on student seminars on: You and Your Senses, Brain Physiology, The Scientific Method, Microscopes, the History of Medicine, and Cetacean Brains & Communication (1999 to present). Guest speaker for elementary/middle school presentations at UConn (Brain Awareness Week) and at Mansfield Middle School. Participate annually in UConn Mentorship program for talented teens (2001 to present).
Ad hoc reviewer for: Neuropsychology, Developmental Psychology, Developmental Psychobiology, British Journal of Psychology, Hormones and Behavior, Mind and Brain, Behavioral Neuroscience, Journal of Learning Disabilities, NSF, Neuroscience Letters, Perceptual and Motor Skills.
NIH Special Review Panels (K02 series, Center Awards).
BBS Associate for Behavioral and Brain Sciences (standing reviewer).
ISBN member-at-large, 1998 – 2000.
ISBN treasurer, 2000 – 2004; Associate treasurer, 2004 – 2006.
Berrebi, AS., Fitch, RH., Ralphe, DL., Denenberg, JO., Friedrich Jr., VL., & Denenberg, VH. 1988. Corpus callosum region specific effects of sex, early experience and age. Brain Research, 438, 216-224.
Denenberg, VH., Berrebi, AS., & Fitch, RH. 1988. Sex, brain, and learning differences in rats. 1988. Behavioral and Brain Sciences, (invited commentary), 11, 188-189.
Denenberg, VH., Berrebi, AS., & Fitch, RH. 1989. A factor analysis of the rat's corpus callosum. Brain Research, 497, 271-279.
Fitch, RH., Berrebi, AS., Cowell, PE., Schrott, LM., & Denenberg, VH. 1990. Corpus callosum: effects of neonatal hormones on sexual dimorphism in the rat. Brain Research, 515, 111-116.
Denenberg, VH., Cowell, PE., Fitch, RH., Kertesz, A., & Kenner, GH. 1991. Corpus Callosum: multiple parameter measurements in rodents and humans. Physiology and Behavior, 49, 433-437.
Denenberg, VH., Fitch, RH., Schrott, LM., Cowell, PE., & Waters, NS. 1991. Corpus callosum: interactive effects of infantile handling and testosterone in the rat. Behavioral Neuroscience, 105, 562-566.
Fitch, RH., Cowell, PE., Schrott, LM., & Denenberg, VH. 1991. Corpus callosum: demasculinization via perinatal anti-androgen. International Journal of Developmental Neuroscience. 9, 35-38.
Fitch, RH., Cowell, PE., Schrott, LM., & Denenberg, VH. 1991. Corpus callosum: ovarian hormones and feminization. Brain Research, 542, 313-317.
Fitch, RH., & Feder, H. 1992. Neonatal prazosin exposure reduces ovarian weight and estrogen receptor binding in adult female rats. International Journal of Developmental Neuroscience, 10, 435-38.
Fitch, RH., McGivern, RF., Redei, E., Schrott, LM., Cowell, PE., & Denenberg, VH. 1992. Neonatal ovariectomy and adrenal-pituitary responsiveness in the adult rat. Acta Endocrinologica, 126, 44-48.
Fitch, RH., Brown, C., O'Connor, K. & Tallal, P. 1993. Functional lateralization for auditory temporal processing in male and female rats. Behavioral Neuroscience, 107, 844-850.
Mack, CM., Fitch, RH., Cowell, PE., Schrott, LM., & Denenberg, VH. 1993. Ovarian estrogen acts to feminize the rat's corpus callosum. Developmental Brain Research, 71, 115-119.
Tallal, P. & Fitch, RH. 1993. Hormones and cerebral organization: implications for the development and transmission of language and learning disabilities. In Dyslexia and Development: Neurobiological Aspects of Extraordinary Brains, A.M. Galaburda (Ed.), Harvard University Press, Boston, Mass, p. 168-186.
Tallal, P., Miller, S., & Fitch, RH. 1993. Neurobiological basis of speech: a case for the preeminence of temporal processing. In Proceedings of the NY Academy of Sciences Conference on Temporal Processing, with Special Reference to Dyslexia and Dysphasia. A.M. Galaburda, R. Llinas, and P. Tallal (Eds.). Annals of the NY Academy of Sciences, p. 27-47.
Fitch, RH., Tallal, P., Brown, C., Galaburda, A., & Rosen, GD. 1994. Induced microgyria and auditory temporal processing in rats: A model for language impairment? Cerebral Cortex, 4, 260-270.
Fitch, RH., & Denenberg, VH. 1995. The role of ovarian hormones in sexual differentiation. Psycoloquy, 95.6.05.
Fitch, RH., & Tallal, PT. 1995. A case for auditory temporal processing as an evolutionary precursor to speech processing and language function (Invited commentary). Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 18(1), 189.
Mack, C. M., Fitch, RH., & Denenberg, VH. 1996. Lack of activational influence of ovarian hormones on the size of the female rat’s callosum. Physiology and Behavior, 60, 431-434.
Fitch, RH., Brown, C., Tallal, P., & Rosen, G. 1997. Effects of sex and MK-801 on auditory processing deficits associated with developmental microgyric lesions in rats. Behavioral Neuroscience, 111, 404-412.
Fitch, RH., Miller, S., & Tallal, P. 1997. Neurobiology of speech perception. Annual Review of Neuroscience. 20, 331-53.
Herman, AE., Galaburda, AM., Fitch, RH., Carter, AR., & Rosen, GD. 1997. Cerebral microgyria, thalamic cell size and auditory temporal processing in male and female rats. Cerebral Cortex, 7, 453-464.
Fitch, RH., Cowell, PE., & Denenberg, V. 1998. The female phenotype: Nature's default? Developmental Neuropsychology, Special issue, S. Berenbaum (Ed.), 14, 213-231.
Fitch, RH., & Denenberg, VH. 1998. A role for ovarian hormones in sexual differentiation of the brain. Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 21, 311-352.
Albert, M., Diamond, A., Fitch, RH., Neville, H., Rapp, P., & Tallal, P. 1998. Cognitive Development. In Fundamental Neuroscience. F.E. Bloom, S.C. Landis, J.L. Roberts, L.R. Squire, and M.J. Zigmund (Eds.), Academic Press, p. 1313-1338.
Brown, CP., Fitch, RH., & Tallal, P. 1999. Sex and hemispheric differences for rapid auditory processing in normaladults. Laterality, 4, 39-50.
Cowell, P., Fitch, RH., & Denenberg, V. 1999. Laterality in animals: relevance to schizophrenia. Schizophrenia Bulletin, 25, 41-62.
Bimonte, HA., Fitch, RH. & Denenberg, VH. 2000a. Adult ovary transfer counteracts the callosal enlargement resulting from prepubertal ovariectomy. Brain Research, 872, 254 - 257.
Bimonte, HA., Fitch, RH. & Denenberg, VH. 2000b. Neonatal estrogen blockade prevents normal callosal responsiveness to estrogen in adulthood. Developmental Brain Research, 122, 149 - 155.
Clark, MG., Sherman, GF., Bimonte, HA. & Fitch, RH. 2000a. Perceptual auditory gap detection deficits in ectopic male BXSB mice. NeuroReport, 11, 693-696.
Clark, M., Rosen, G., Tallal, P. & Fitch, RH. 2000b. Impaired processing of complex auditory stimuli in rats with induced cerebrocortical microgyria. J Cog Neurosci, 12 (5), 828 – 839.
Clark, M., Rosen, G., Tallal, P. & Fitch, RH. 2000c. Impaired two-tone processing at rapid rates in male rats with induced microgyria. Brain Research, 871, 94-97.
Fitch, RH., Read, HL. & Benasich, AA. 2000. Neurophysiology of speech perception in normal and impaired systems. In Physiology of the Ear, A.F. Jahn & J. Santos-Sachi (Eds.). Singular Thompson Learning, p. 651 - 671.
Galaburda, AM, Rosen, GD, Denenberg, VH, Fitch, RH, LoTurco, JJ, & Sherman, GF. 2001. Models of temporal processing and language development. Clin Neurosci Res, 1 (3), 230-237.
Peiffer, AM., Dunleavy, CK., Frenkel, M., Gabel, LA., LoTurco, JJ., Rosen, GD., & Fitch, R. H. 2001. Impaired discrimination of variable duration embedded tones in adult male ectopic NZB mice. NeuroReport, 12, 2875 - 2879.
Rosen GD, Fitch RH, Clark M, Lo Turco JJ, Sherman GF, & Galaburda AM. 2001. Animal models of developmental dyslexia: Is there a link between neocortical malformations and defects in fast auditory processing? In: M. Wolf, ed. Time, Fluency, and Dyslexia, York Press. Baltimore, Maryland.
Fitch, RH & Bimonte, HA. 2002. Hormones, brain and behavior: putative biological contributions to cognitive sex differences. In McGillicuddy-De Lisi & De Lisi (eds.) Biology, society and behavior: The development of sex differences in cognition, Applied Developmental Psychology, special series, Ablex Press, p. 55-91.
Peiffer, AM, Rosen, GD & Fitch, RH. 2002a. Rapid auditory processing and MGN morphology in rats reared in varied acoustic environments. Dev Brain Res, 138, 187-193.
Peiffer, AM, Rosen, GD & Fitch, RH. 2002b. Sex differences in rapid auditory processing deficits in ectopic BXSB/MpJ mice. NeuroReport, 13, 2277 – 2280.
Fitch, RH & Chrobak, JJ. 2003. Animal models of neuropsychological function, In Experimental Methods in Neuropsychology, K. Hugdahl (ed.). Special Issue of Neuropsychology and Cognition (vol. 21), Kluwer Academic Publishers, Boston, MA. p. 89 – 109.
Fitch, R.H. 2003. Learning disabilities. In J. Byrne (ed.) Learning and Memory, 2nd edition (a revised and updated edition of Encyclopedia of Learning and Memory), Macmillan Press, New York, New York. p. 320 - 325.
Peiffer, AM, Fitch, R.H., Thomas, J. Yurkovic, A. & Rosen, G.D. 2003. Brain weight differences associated with induced focal microgyria. BMC Neuroscience, 4, 12.
Fitch, R.H. & Tallal, P. 2003. Neural mechanisms of language based learning impairments: Insights from human populations and animal models. Behavioral and Cognitive Neuroscience Reviews, 2 (3), 155 - 178.
Denenberg, V.D. & Fitch, R.H. 2004. Invited commentary on “Corpus callosum: relative size versus controlling for size” (Smith, R.J.). Current Anthropology, 46 (2), 263 – 264.
Peiffer, A.M., Rosen, G.D. & Fitch, R.H. 2004a. Sex differences in auditory processing deficits in microgyric rats. Developmental Brain Research, 148 (1), 53 - 57.
Tallal, P.T. & Fitch, R.H. 2004. Central auditory processing and language learning impairments: Implications for neuroplasticity research. In Plasticity Of The Central Auditory System And Processing Of Complex Acoustic Signals, J. Syka (ed.), Kluwer Plenum Press, in press.
Friedman, J.T., Peiffer, A., Clark, M., Benasich, A. & Fitch, R.H. 2004. Age and experience related improvements in gap detection in the rat. Developmental Brain Research, 152, 83 - 91.
Peiffer, A.M., Friedman, J.T., Rosen, G.D. & Fitch, R.H. 2004b. Impaired gap detection in juvenile microgyric rats. Developmental Brain Research, 152, 93 - 98
Peiffer, A. M., McClure, M.M., Threlkeld, S.W., Rosen, G.D. & Fitch, R.H. 2004c. Severity of focal microgyria and associated rapid auditory processing deficits. NeuroReport, 15 (12), 1923 – 1926.
McClure, M.M. & Fitch, R.H. 2005. Hormones. Entry in “The Encyclopedia of Human Development, “ N.J. Salkind (Ed.), Sage Publications, p.646 - 649.
McClure, M.M., Peiffer, A.M., Rosen, G.D. & Fitch, R.H. 2005a. Auditory processing deficits in rats with neonatal hypoxia-ischemic injury. International Journal of Developmental Neuroscience, 23 (4), 351-362.
McClure, M.M., Threlkeld, S.W., Rosen, G.D., & Fitch, R.H. 2005b. Auditory processing deficits in unilaterally and bilaterally injured hypoxic-ischemic rats. NeuroReport, 16, 1309 – 1312.
Fitch, R.H. & Peiffer, A. 2006. Behavioral consequences of focal anomalies in the cerebral cortex. In The Dyslexic Brain: New Pathways in Neuroscience Discovery. G. D. Rosen (Ed). Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, p. 259 - 288.
McClure, M., Threlkeld, S. & Fitch, R.H. 2006a. The effects of erythropoietin on auditory processing following neonatal hypoxic-ischemic injury. Brain Research, 1087, 190 – 195.
McClure, M., Threlkeld, S., Rosen, G. & Fitch, R.H. 2006b. Rapid auditory processing and learning deficits in rats with P1 versus P7 neonatal hypoxic-ischemic injury. Behavioural Brain Research, 172, 114 - 121.
Threlkeld, S.W., McClure, M.M., Rosen, G.D. & Fitch, R.H. 2006. Developmental timeframes for the induction of microgyria and rapid auditory processing deficits in the rat. Brain Research, 1109, 22 – 31.
Galaburda, A.M., LoTurco, J.L., Ramus, F., Fitch, R.H. & Rosen, G.D. 2006. From genes to behavior in developmental dyslexia. Nature Neuroscience, 9, 1213 – 1217.
McClure, M., Threlkeld, S. & Fitch, R.H. 2006c. Auditory processing and learning/memory following erythropoietin administration in neonatally HI injured rats. Brain Research, 1132, 203 – 209.
Threlkeld, S.W., McClure, M.M., Bai, J., Wang, Y., LoTurco, J.J., Rosen, G.D., & Fitch, R.H. 2007. Developmental disruptions and behavioral impairments in rats following in utero RNAi of Dyx1c1. 2007. Brain Research Bulletin, 71, 508 - 514.
Threlkeld SW, Rosen GD, Fitch RH (2007) Age at developmental cortical injury differentially alters corpus callosum volume in the rat. BMC Neurosci 8:94.
Threlkeld SW, Penley SC, Rosen GD, Fitch RH. Detection of silent gaps in white noise following cortical deactivation in rats NeuroReport 2008;19(8):893-8.
Fitch RH, Threlkeld SW, McClure MM, Peiffer AM. Use of a modified prepulse inhibition paradigm to assess complex auditory discrimination in rodents. Brain Res Bull. 2008; 76:1-7.
Fitch, R.H., Breslawski, H., Rosen, G.D. & Chrobak, J. 2008b. Persistent spatial working memory deficits in rats with bilateral cortical microgyria. Behavioral and Brain Functions, 4, 45.
Threlkeld, S.W., Hill, C., Rosen, G.D. & Fitch, R.H. 2008b. Effects of early focal cortical disruption and test experience on rapid auditory discrimination and learning/memory in rats. International Journal of Developmental Neuroscience, in press.
Threlkeld, S.W., Hill, C., Cleary, C., Truong, D., Rosen, G.D. & Fitch, R.H. Teratogen-induced heterotopia leads to deficits in auditory discrimination and maze learning in the rat. Submitted.
SELECTED PAPERS PRESENTED:
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