Campus Directory: Robbin Gibb

University of Lethbridge

Robbin Gibb
Faculty & Associate Chair - Curriculum
Cdn Ctr for Behavioural Neuroscience (CCBN)
Office: SA8248
Phone: (403) 394-3993
Room: SA8114
Phone: (403) 329-2293


BSc Chemistry (Uof Lethbridge), MSc Neuroscience (U of Lethbridge), PhD Neuroscience( U of Lethbridge


Experiential influences on brain development. Factors influencing recovery after early brain injury

Research Areas

Parental experience and its influence on brain development. Remediation of deficits arising from early brain injury. Executive function and its relationship to language and motor development

Office Hours

Monday 10:00 AM to 11:00 PM

About Me

I am a three time graduate of the University of Lethbridge (BSc- Chemistry, 1977; MSc Neuroscience, 2001; PhD Neuroscience, 2004). As an undergraduate, I had the pleasure of working for two summers under the supervision of Dr. Loren Hepler in Chemistry (1975 & 76) and one summer for Dr's Ian Whishaw and Bryan Kolb in Psychology (1977). After graduating, I took 1.5 years of postgraduate training in Pharmacology at the University of Alberta. In 1984 I began work as a technician for Dr. Bryan Kolb and I worked from then until I graduated with my PhD in Neuroscience. I accepted a faculty position in Neuroscience in July of 2004.


Robbin Gibb is Associate Professor in the Department of Neuroscience at the University of Lethbridge. Her research focuses on parental influences on brain development and recovery from early brain injury. Dr. Gibb is currently the President of the Lethbridge Chapter of Society for Neuroscience. Aside from teaching commitments and research Dr. Gibb gives talks to public interest groups on the role of early experience in shaping brain development. Dr. Gibb is a member of the Early Childhood Education Advisory Committee for Lethbridge College and the Alberta Early Learning and Child Care Curriculum Advisory Committee.

Selected Publications

Frost, D., Gibb, R., & Kolb, B. (2010). Trick or treat? Neurodevelopmental consequences of pharmacotherapy for affective disorders. PMID 20010711

Kolb, B., Halliwell, C. & Gibb, R. (2010) Factors influencing neocortical development in the normal and injured brain. In M.S. Blumberg, J.H. Freeman, & S.R. Robinson (Eds.) Developmental and comparative neuroscience: Epigenetics, evolution, and behavior. New York: Oxford University Press. PMID 20477557

Gibb, R., Gonzalez, C., Wegenast, W. & Kolb, B. (2010). Tactile stimulation promotes motor recovery following cortical injury in adult rats. Behavioural Brain Research, 214, 102-107. PMID 20394780

Kolb, B. & Gibb, R. (2010) Tactile stimulation after frontal or parietal cortical injury in infant rats facilitates functional recovery and produces synaptic changes in adjacent cortex. Behavioral Brain Research, 214,115-120. PMID 20417237

Sutherland, R., Gibb, R., & Kolb, B. (2010). The hippocampus makes a significant contribution to experience-dependent neocortical plasticity. Behavioural Brain Research, 214, 121-124 PMID 20561544

Kolb, B., Teskey G.C., and Gibb, R. (2010). Factors influencing cerebral plasticity in the normal and injured brain. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, 4, 204. PMID:21120136

Kolb, B. Muhammad, A., and Gibb, R. (2011) Searching for factors underlying cerebral plasticity in the normal and injured brain. Journal of Communication Disorders, in press. PMID:21621219

Mychasiuk, R., Ilnytskyy S, Kovalchuk, O., Kolb, B., and Gibb, R. (2011) Intensity Matters: Brain, behaviour and the epigenome of prenatally stressed rats. Neuroscience, 180, 105-110. PMID:21335068

Mychasiuk, R., Schmold, N., Ilnystyy, S., Kovalchuk, O., Kolb, B. and Gibb, R. (2011). Prenatal bystander stress alters brain, behavior, and the epigenome of developing rat offspring. Developmental Neuroscience, 33,159-169. PMID: 21893948

Kolb, B., Mychasiuk, R., Williams, P., and Gibb, R. (2011). Brain plasticity and recovery from early cortical injury. Developmental Medicine and Child Neurology, 53 Suppl 4:4-8. PMID: 21950386

Kolb, B. & Gibb, R. (2011) Brain Plasticity and behaviour in the developing brain. Journal of the Canadian Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 20, 265-276. PMID: 22114608

Mychasiuk, R., Zahir, S., Schmold, N., Ilnytskyy, S., Kovalchuk, O., & Gibb, R. (2012). Parental enrichment and offspring development: Modifications to brain, behavior and the epigenome. Behavioral Brain Research, 228, 294-298. PMID: 22173001

Richards, S., Mychasiuk, R., Kolb, B., & Gibb, R. (2012). Tactile stimulation during development alters behavior and neuroanatomical organization of normal rats. Behavioral Brain Research, 231, 86-91. PMID: 22409973

Kolb, B., Pedersen, B., & Gibb, R. (2012). Embryonic pretreatment with bromodeoxyuridine blocks neurogenesis and functional recovery from perinatal frontal lesions in rats. Developmental Neuroscience, 34, 228-239. PMID 22627036

Mychasiuk, R., Richards, S., Nakahashi, A., Kolb, B., & Gibb, R. (2012). Effects of rat prenatal exposure to Valproic Acid on behavior and neuroanatomy.
Developmental Neuroscience, 34, 268-276. PMID 22890088

Kolb, B., Mychasiuk, R., Muhammad, A., Li, Y., Frost, D. & Gibb, R. (2012). Experience and the developing prefrontal cortex. Proceedings of the National Academy of Science, 109, 18186-93. PMID 23045653

Mychasiuk, R., Harker, A., Ilnytskyy, S., & Gibb, R. (2013) Paternal stress prior to conception alters DNA methylation and behavior of developing rat offspring. Neuroscience, In Press. PMID 23531434

Selected Creative Works

Pratt, G. & Gibb, R. (2009). Early Learning and Family Supports: A practical guide.

In The Media

Research Interests

My research program is focused on assessing the influence of early experiences on brain development. A key component of this research is aimed at understanding how to optimize recovery following an early brain injury. With this aim in mind it becomes important to identify the differences in the injured and normal brain and how experiences affect both. The goal is to identify factors that can influence behavioral outcomes. In order to understand how to improve outcomes after an early injury it is necessary to determine the effects that early injury has on brain development and then how experience interacts with the injured brain to improve or impede outcomes.

The focus of my current research is on the role of parental (maternal or paternal) experience-either prenatal or preconception, on brain development and plasticity in offspring. The goal of this research is to further understand the impact that pre-birth experience has on the wiring of the developing brain and ultimately its function. Research outcomes will enable a better understanding of how these very early experiences shape brain responses to later experiences.

Curriculum Vitae


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