About Dr. Fountain

I was born at a young age... 


While an undergraduate at Baylor University, I wondered why cognition in animals could not be studied using the methods that had been used in humans.  In graduate school, I was remarkably fortunate to work with one of the founders of the field of animal cognition, Stew Hulse, where I learned just how exciting - and challenging - it can be to study complex cognition in animals. Postdoctoral research with Zoltan Annau, one of the pioneers of the study of the neurotoxic effects of chemicals on brain and behavior, and then later with Tim Teyler, a leader in the study of LTP in the hippocampal slice preparation, encouraged my interest in the effects of drugs and toxic chemicals on cognition and the neural basis of cognition. Since becoming a member of the faculty in the behavioral neuroscience program in the Department of Psychological Sciences at Kent State University, I have pursued my interests in animal cognition and neuroscience.  My lab uses complex behavioral tasks including a novel behavioral paradigm developed in our lab, the Serial Multiple Choice (SMC) task, in conjunction with neuroscience methods.  Our goal is to use rodent model systems to study how multiple brain and behavioral systems allow nonhuman animals and humans to organize complex behavior.

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Education & Positions


Baylor University

B.A., Psychology (Advisor: Bud Barker)


The Johns Hopkins University

Ph.D., Biopsychology

(Advisor: Stewart H. Hulse)


The Johns Hopkins University

School of Hygiene and Public Health

Postdoctoral fellow, Neurotoxicology

(with Zoltan Annau)


Northeastern Ohio Universities College

of Medicine (NEOUCOM)

Research Assistant Professor, Neurobiology

(with Timothy J. Teyler)


Kent State University

Professor (current), Psychological Sciences

Research Interests

Animal Cognition: The Organization of Sequential Behavior Through Time

Fountain, S. B., Rowan, J. D., Muller, M. D., Kundey, S. M. A., Pickens, L. R. G., & Doyle, K. E.  (2012). The organization of sequential behavior: Conditioning, memory, and abstraction.  In T. R. Zentall and E. A. Wasserman (Eds.), Handbook of Comparative Cognition (pp. 594-614).  Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Parallel Processing: How Animals Use Multiple Cognitive Processes Concurrently in Sequential Behavior

Muller, M. D., & Fountain, S. B. (2016).  Concurrent cognitive processes in rat serial pattern learning: II. Discrimination learning, rule learning, chunk length, and multiple-item memories. Journal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior, 105, 155-175. http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/jeab.186 (IF = 1.865)

Identifying and Characterizing the Brain Systems Responsible for Sequential Behavior

Chenoweth, A. M., & Fountain, S. B.(2015). Central muscarinic cholinergic involvement in serial pattern learning: atropine impairs acquisition and retention in a serial multiple choice (SMC) task in rats. Neurobiology of Learning and Memory, 123, 18-27. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.nlm.2015.04.003 (IF=4.035)

Animal Models for Studying Adult Cognitive Impairments Caused by Adolescent Drug Exposure ​

Rowan, J. D., McCarty, M. K.*, Kundey, S. M. A., Osburn, C. D.*, Renaud, S. M., Kelley, B. M., Matoushek, A. W., & Fountain, S. B.(2015). Adolescent exposure to methylphenidate impairs serial pattern learning in the serial multiple choice (SMC) task in adult rats. Neurotoxicology and Teratology, 51, 21-26.  http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ntt.2015.07.007 (IF = 2.762)


Sex Differences in Animal Cognition and Neurobehavioral Teratology of Drugs

Pickens, L. R. G., Rowan, J. D., Bevins, R. A., & Fountain, S. B. (2013). Sex differences in adult cognitive deficits after adolescent nicotine exposure in rats. Neurotoxicology and Teratology, 38, 72-78. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ntt.2013.05.001 (IF = 3.181)

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