Main content

Lauren Harburger

Assistant Professor of Psychology

Dr. Harburger’s research investigates the effects of sex and ovarian hormones on learning and memory.  Sex differences are important for many reasons.  From an academic perspective, it is interesting to understand how men and women differ on cognitive tasks.  Sex differences in cognition may reflect underlying sex differences in the brain.  Further, understanding sex differences in cognition may lead to more effective teaching methods for male and female students.  Her work also focuses on how ovarian hormones, estrogens and progestins, affect cognition and memory.  She is particularly interested in the cognitive effect of female sex hormones in the aging population.  Her previous research has examined the effects of environmental enrichment on learning and memory. 


Representative Courses:

Physiological Psychology

Behavioral Neuroendocrinology

Science in the Modern World: Brain and Society

Introduction to Psychology



  • Levy, L.J., Astur, R.S., and Frick K.M. (2005). Men and women differ in object memory but not performance of a virtual radial maze.  Behavioral Neuroscience, 119(4), 853-862.
  • Bennett, J.C., McRae, P.A., Levy, L.J., and Frick K.M.  (2006). Long-term continuous, but not daily, environmental enrichment reduces spatial memory decline in aged male mice.  Neurobiology of Learning and Memory, 85(2), 139-152.
  • Harburger, L.L., Bennett, J.C., and Frick K.M. (2007). Effects of estrogen and progesterone on spatial memory consolidation in aged females.  Neurobiology of Aging, 28(4), 602-610.
  • Harburger, L.L., Nzerem, C.K., and Frick, K.M. (2007). Single enrichment variables differentially reduce age-related memory decline in female mice.  Behavioral Neuroscience, 121(4), 679-688.
  • Harburger, L.L., Lambert, T.J., and Frick, K.M. (2007). Age-dependent effects of environmental enrichment on spatial reference memory in male mice.  Behavioural Brain Research.  185, 43-48.
  • Harburger, L.L., Pechenino, A.S., Saadi, A., and Frick, K.M. (2008). Post-training progesterone dose-dependently enhances object, but not spatial, memory consolidation.  Behavioural Brain Research, 194(2), 174-180.
  • Fernandez, S.M., Lewis, M.C., Pechenino, A.S., Harburger, L.L., Orr, P.T., Gresack, J.E., Schafe, G.E., and Frick, K.M. (2008). Estradiol-induced enhancement of object memory consolidation involves hippocampal extracellular signal-regulated kinase activation and membrane-bound estrogen receptors.  Journal of Neuroscience, 28(35), 8660-8667.
  • Harburger, L.L., Saadi, A., and Frick, K.M. (2009). Dose-dependent effects of estradiol and progesterone on memory consolidation and hippocampal ERK activation in female mice. Neuroscience, 160(1), 6-12.
  • Frick, K.M., Fernandez, S.M., and Harburger, L.L. (2010). A new approach to understanding the molecular mechanisms through which estrogens affect cognition.  Biochimica et Biophysica Acta, 1800(10), 1045-1055.

Presentations / Conferences

  • Taylor, D. and Harburger, L. (2012). The effects endogenous and exogenous sex hormones   on object memory and spatial ability in young and aged women.  Annual N.E.U.R.O.N.  Conference Program, page 30.
  • Sue, E.L, Beach, K.D. and Harburger, L.L. (2019) Sex differences in object memory and spatial ability in young and aged adults. SUNY Undergraduate Research Conference, page 14.
  • Harburger, L.L., Beach, K.D. and Sua, E.L. (2019) Sex differences in object memory and spatial ability in young and aged adults. Organization for the Study of Sex Differences, 2-24.