Monosodium glutamate and aspartame are two ubiquitous food additives used for the enhancement of flavor. Research in rodent models suggests that these chemicals have potential neurotoxic effects within the brain. Vitamin C is a supplement well known for its antioxidant properties in the human body. Studies in rodent models suggest the preventative benefits the supplement has against neurotoxins such as MSG and ASM. The current study aimed to compare the effects of a combination dose of MSG +ASM, and MSG +ASM +Vit C on the ability of perinatal mice to perform in Morris water maze and active avoidance. It was expected that the food additives would impair the ability of mice to perform in the behavioral tasks. However, it was also hypothesized that the inclusion of vitamin C would ameliorate any negative effects due to MSG and ASM. Control mice performed significantly better than both experimental groups in active avoidance escape latencies, while no difference as a result of treatment was observed in the Morris water maze. The results align with literature suggesting the potential neurotoxic effects of MSG and ASM. However, they do not suggest preventative benefits of vitamin C in co-treatment with MSG and ASM.


Stavnezer, Amy Jo



Publication Date


Degree Granted

Bachelor of Arts

Document Type

Senior Independent Study Thesis



© Copyright 2015 Christopher M. Munoz