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Our research focuses on the behavioral neuropharmacology of abused stimulants including cocaine, methamphetamine and MDMA. The rational development of treatment medications for stimulant abuse in humans is a major emphasis. Ongoing studies investigate in nonhuman primate models the neurochemical mechanisms that mediate drug effects on behavior. In addition, a unique neuroimaging program at the Yerkes Center has been established to study stimulant-induced changes in brain function with PET and fMRI neuroimaging techniques.
Points of Interest
Operant-conditioning techniques are used to study i.v. drug self-administration in squirrel monkeys and rhesus monkeys.
In vivo microdialysis techniques are used to quantify drug-induced changes in neurochemistry.
Positron Emission Tomography (PET) neuroimaging is used to quantify drug interactions with specific protein targets.
Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI) is used to characterize drug effects on brain function.