(October 17, 2011)

Contact: Dena Pruett, Centenary Marketing & Communication, 318.869.5715

Collaboration Produces Publication in JUNE

SHREVEPORT, LA — Dr. Greg Butcher, Dr. Troy Messina, and Centenary graduate Aaron Otto recently published a technical note in The Journal of Undergraduate Neuroscience Education (JUNE) on "Design Plans for an Inexpensive Tail Flick Analgesia Meter." The paper and device stemmed from collaboration among the Biology, Math, and Physics departments.

Tail Flick Analgesia Meter
Inexpensive Tail Flick Analgesia Meter

"Often students enter college with a compartmentalized view of the world where problems in physics don't have any relevance to problems in other areas like biology, neuroscience, and chemistry," said Dr. Butcher. "This simply isn't true. Complex problems require people with different views and training working together to reach a solution."

The paper presents a plan to build a tail flick analgesia meter that can be constructed for $50-$75, which is roughly 100 times cheaper than commercial devices. Devising a plan for a cost-effective version of the tail flick analgesia meter should make the technology more available to undergraduate settings. Analgesia is the absence of the sense of pain, and the tail flick test is a measure of the neural processes of encoding and processing noxious stimuli. The prototype was used in Dr. Butcher's Advanced Neuroscience lab.

Dr. Greg Butcher is an Assistant Professor of Neuroscience and Neuroscience Program Coordinator at Centenary College. He has various journal publications, including Reports of the National Center for Science Education, European Journal of Neuroscience, and the Journal of Neuroscience. Dr. Butcher routinely presents at annual Society for Neuroscience meetings.

Dr. Troy Messina is an Assistant Professor of Biophysics and Chair of the 3-2 engineering program. He has published in the American Journal of Physics, Biophysical Journal, and Physical Review. He has given talks at the University of Arkansas, University of Alabama, and to the Northwest chapter of the American Chemical Society.

Aaron Otto graduated in May 2011 with a double major in Physics and Math.

About Centenary College of Louisiana

Centenary College is a private, four-year arts and sciences college affiliated with the United Methodist Church. Founded in 1825, it is the oldest chartered liberal arts college west of the Mississippi River and is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. Centenary is one of 16 colleges and universities constituting the Associated Colleges of the South and has been recognized as "One of the Best 371 Colleges" by the Princeton Review and one of "America's Best Colleges" and one of "America's Best Private Colleges" by Forbes.com. In 2008 Centenary College celebrated 100 years in Shreveport and Bossier City.