Stephen J. Heishman, Ph.D., Senior Investigator - Principal Investigators - The Intramural Research Program of the National Institute on Drug Abuse

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Stephen J. Heishman, Ph.D., Senior Investigator


251 Bayview Blvd., Room 2A641
Baltimore, MD 21224

Phone: (443) 740-2458

Fax: (443) 740-2855


Stephen J. Heishman, Ph.D., Senior Investigator

Associate Director for Education and Training

Post-doctoral Training - Behavioral Pharmacology Research Unit, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine

Ph.D. - Experimental Psychology, University of Louisville

B.A. - Psychology, Vanderbilt University


My research program involves basic human laboratory studies investigating several aspects of nicotine dependence. This research uses behavioral pharmacological methods including operant responding, self-report measures, physiological recordings, and cognitive assessments. One consequence of nicotine withdrawal is impaired cognitive abilities, which can lead a person trying to quit to relapse to smoking. For several years, we have been investigating the effects of tobacco withdrawal and nicotine administration on cognitive processes in smokers and nonsmokers to understand which cognitive and attentional processes are most readily disrupted during withdrawal and which are enhanced by nicotine under conditions of normal smoking. We are also interested in the phenomenon of tobacco craving and the role it plays in the maintenance of nicotine dependence. We have developed and validated a multidimensional tobacco craving questionnaire, examined the time course of elicited craving, studied the effect of elicited craving on working memory, and are currently investigating the brain correlates of elicited craving using functional magnetic resonance imagery. Most recently, we have established a laboratory model of nicotine dependence that comprises measures of conditioned smoking cues and nicotine reinforcement. We will use this model to investigate the effects of putative pharmacotherapies for nicotine dependence and how various genetic polymorphisms influence responses to smoking cues and nicotine reinforcement.

Selected Publications:

View more publications at PubMed.

More about Dr. Heishman

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The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), is part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the principal biomedical and behavioral research agency of the United States Government. NIH is a component of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

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