Cedric Williams headshot
CW

Cedric L. Williams

Professor
Unit: College of Arts and Sciences
Department: Department of Psychology
Office location and address
184 Gilmer Hall
485 McCormick Rd
Charlottesville, Virginia 22903
Biography

My lab is involved in creating novel behavioral and cognitive protocols to train standard laboratory rodents and African Gambian rats to detect target scents associated with explosive odorants using automated methods. We design computer-automated instrumental learning techniques in training rodent species to become efficient bio-detectors of explosives odorants or a wide range of hazardous chemical agents. The objective of this work is to create proven behavioral strategies that reduce the time frame for training rodents to reliably search for, identify and distinguish explosive and other harmful odorants from a number of distractor odors.

A separate interest of the lab involves understanding how physiological changes induced by emotionally arousing events, influences neural circuits in the brain to encode these experiences into memory more effectively. This question is approached with a battery of behavioral learning tasks, immunocytochemistry and neurochemistry to identify chemical transmitters that are released in the brain during learning to affect memory storage. The combined approaches are expected to reveal how meaningful or arousing events influence neural activity within the Amygdala, Prefrontal Cortex and Hippocampus to transform representations of everyday experiences into permanent memories.

Developing Flexible Olfactory Perception and Discrimination Learning
Source: U.S. DOD - Army - Aro
May 01, 2020 – April 30, 2022
AS-PSYC An Automated Deployable Robust Training System: Phase II
Source: Barron Associates, Inc.
November 01, 2016 – August 31, 2019
AS-PSYC Genetic Selection for Accelerated Learning and Olfactory Detection of Explosives
Source: Cornell University
March 23, 2016 – January 31, 2019
AS-PSYC Facilitation of Olfactory Discrimination & Generalization Learning
Source: U.S. DOD - Army - Aro
June 01, 2016 – January 31, 2018
AS-PSYC An Automated Deployable Robust Training System
Source: Barron Associates, Inc.
August 20, 2015 – July 31, 2016
AS-PSYC Efficacy of non-invasive vagal stimulation on facilitating extinction of conditioned fear
Source: ElectroCore, LLC
January 02, 2014 – September 30, 2015
A Rugged Automated Training System: Phase II
Source: Barron Associates, Inc.
December 20, 2012 – January 12, 2015
AS-PSYC Efficacy of Non-Invasive Vagal Nerve Stimulation on Facilitating Extinction of Conditioned Fear
Source: ElectroCore, LLC
July 01, 2013 – October 31, 2013
PSYC 2100: Introduction to Learning
Credits: 3
Analyzes the concepts, problems, and research methodology in the study of processes basic to learning and motivation.
PSYC 3100: Learning and the Neuroscience of Behavior
Credits: 3
The course will examine historical and current theories of learning that provide the foundation for most, if not all forms of an organism's behavior. Students will be exposed to a diverse range of experimental findings that led to principles and concepts that currently explain how environmental, social and emotional factors influence the brain and body to shape human and animal behavior.
PSYC 3590: Research in Psychology
Credits: 2–3
An original experimental project is undertaken in which each student is responsible for the design and operation of the experiment. S/U grading. May be repeated for credit. Prerequisite: 14 credits of psychology and instructor permission.
NESC 3960: Research in Neuroscience
Credits: 3
Students in Neuroscience major are expected to participate in active research, supervised by a faculty research mentor. The course grade is based on 10 hours/week lab work toward achieving term goals that are determined individually at the beginning of the term. Students are expected to submit a Term Plan one month after the first day of classes and a Progress Report two weeks before the last day of classes.
COGS 3960: Cognitive Science Research
Credits: 3
This course aims to provide faculty-supervised research experience. A faculty mentor should be identified before enrollment. S/U grading. May be repeated for credit. Prerequisites: Faculty supervisor permission.
PSYC 4250: Brain Systems Involved in Memory
Credits: 3
The historical and current experimental findings that describe the contribution of neuroanatomical structures in regulating memory formation. Prerequisite: Enrollment not allowed in more than one 4000-level or 5000-level PSYC course & student must be 4th year psychology, neuroscience, or cognitive science major status. Students should have also taken PSYC 2200 or PSYC 2210.
NESC 4970: Distinguished Majors Thesis
Credits: 3
A two-semester course in which the student prepares a thesis under the supervision of a Neuroscience Graduate Program faculty member. The thesis must be based on empirical research conducted by the student. Prerequisite: Participant in Neuroscience DMP.
PSYC 5265: Functional Neuroanatomy
Credits: 3
An overview of the structure of the vertebrate nervous system with an emphasis on the mammalian brain. Completion of PSYC 4200 or BIOL 3050. Restricted to 3rd or 4th year PSYC, Cog Sci or Neurosci majors or Grad A&S student or Instructor consent
PSYC 7250: Brain Systm Involved in Memory
Credits: 3
The historical and current experimental findings that describe the contribution of neuroanatomical structures in regulating memory formation. Prerequisite: GSAS.
PSYC 7502: Contemporary Issues: Neuroscience and Behavior
Credits: 2
Discusses contemporary developments in psychological theory, methods, and research. Prerequisite: Graduate standing in psychology or instructor permission.
PSYC 7559: New Course in Psychology
Credits: 1–4
This course provides the opportunity to offer a new topic in the subject area of psychology.
PSYC 8998: Non-Topical Research, Preparation for Thesis
Credits: 1–12
For master's research, taken before a thesis director has been selected.
PSYC 9501: Topical Research
Credits: 1–12
Independent laboratory research undertaken with advisor. Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory and can be repeated. Instructor permission required.
PSYC 9998: Non-Topical Research, Preparation for Doctoral Research
Credits: 1–12
For doctoral research, taken before a dissertation director has been selected.
NESC 9998: Non-Topical Research, Preparation for Doctoral Research
Credits: 1–12
For doctoral research, taken before a dissertation director has been selected.
PSYC 9999: Non-Topical Research
Credits: 1–12
For doctoral dissertation, taken under the supervision of a dissertation director.
NESC 9999: Non-Topical Research
Credits: 1–12
For doctoral research, under the supervision of a dissertation director.