Return to Directory

Marise Parent

Professor    Faculty    ,

B.A. Honors Psychology, with Great Distinction, Concordia University, 1989
Ph.D. Biological Sciences, University of California, Irvine, Department of Neurobiology and Behavior, 1993
Postdoctoral fellow, Department of Psychology, University of Virginia, 1993-1996


Behavioral Neuroscience
Neurobiology of Learning and Memory
Energy Homeostasis


Marise Parent was born and raised in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. In 1984 she graduated from Vanier College with an associate degree in Special Care Counseling in 1984, which allowed her to work in a group home teaching independent living skills to clients with brain damage while obtaining her B.A. Honors Psychology degree from Concordia University. Her interest in scientific research and neuroscience was fostered during that time while conducting research with Peter Shizgal, Donna White, and Jane Stewart. In 1989, she moved on to the University of California, Irvine to pursue her Ph.D. in Biological Sciences (specialization in neurobiology and behavior) under the mentorship of James L. McGaugh, a distinguished researcher in the field of learning and memory and member of the National Academy of Sciences. In 1993 she started her postdoctoral training with Paul Gold, then in the Department of Psychology and Neuroscience Program at the University of Virginia. In 1996 she started her independent research program in the Department of Psychology at the University of Alberta in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, before moving to GSU in 2000. In 2011 she spent a year working as a Program Officer in the Biology Directorate at the National Science Foundation. She is currently a Professor in the Neuroscience Institute and also holds an appointment in the Department of Psychology.

Dr. Parent’s current research investigates how memory influences energy intake and how energy intake, in turn, influences brain function. Her research program is currently funded by the National Science Foundation and has been supported in the past by the Canadian Diabetes Association, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the National Institutes of Health, and the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada. For more information, please visit


Representative publications:

Parent, M.B., *Darling, J.N., *Henderson, Y.O. (2014). Remembering to eat: Hippocampal regulation of meal onset. American Journal of Physiology: Regulatory, Integrative and Comparative Physiology, 306: R701-713. [2014 5-year IMPACT FACTOR: 3.502]

This paper reviews the evidence supporting our overarching hypothesis that hippocampal neurons form a memory of a meal and inhibit meal onset during the period following a meal.

*Darling, J.N., *Ross, A.P., Bartness, T.J., & Parent, M.B. (2013). Predicting the effects of a high energy diet on fatty liver and hippocampal-dependent memory. Obesity, 21(5): 910-917. [2014 5-year IMPACT FACTOR: 4.389]

This is the first study to show that voluntary consumption of a high energy diet, at concentrations determined by the rat, impairs memory and weight gain during the first 5 days on the diet predicts the memory deficits and the development of fatty liver. The finding that excess liver lipids likely contribute to the memory deficits is significant given that fatty liver is prevalent in 30% of the population and is the most common form of liver disease.

*Henderson, Y.O, Smith, G.P. & Parent, M.B. (2013). Hippocampal neurons inhibit meal onset. Hippocampus, 23(1): 100-107. [2014 5-year IMPACT FACTOR: 4.302] *Faculty of 1000 Prime Recommended

This is the first paper to implicate dorsal hippocampal neurons in meal onset. This study shows that reversible inactivation of the dorsal hippocampus after a meal accelerates the onset of the next meal and increases meal size. These findings are consistent with our working hypothesis that dorsal hippocampal neurons suppress meal initiation during the period after the meal.

Parent, M.B., *Krebs-Kraft, D.L, *Ryan, J.P., *Wilson, J.S., *Harenski, C. & Hamman, S. (2011). Glucose administration enhances fMRI brain activation and connectivity related to episodic memory encoding for neutral and emotional stimuli. Neuropsychologia, 49:1052-1066. [2014 5-year IMPACT FACTOR: 4.495]

This study investigated the neural mechanisms that may contribute to the ability of glucose to enhance hippocampal-dependent episodic memory in humans. This study shows that despite the fact that glucose is a global brain fuel, its effects on brain activation are not non-specific. Rather, glucose selectively increases activation in brain regions involved in encoding episodic memories and increases functional connectivity between hippocampus and amygdala and a network of regions involved in episodic encoding.

*Ross, A.P., Bartness, T.B., Mielke, J.G. & Parent, M.B. (2009). A high fructose diet impairs spatial memory in male rats. Neurobiology of Learning and Memory, 92: 410-416. [2014 5-year IMPACT FACTOR: 4.284]

This is the first study to show that a high fructose diet impairs hippocampal-dependent memory.

*student authors

Find Marise Parent’s Publications on PubMed