Behavioral Neuroscience Research Branch - The Intramural Research Program of the National Institute on Drug Abuse

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Behavioral Neuroscience RESEARCH BRANCH

Branch Overview

Branch Chief: Yavin Shaham, Ph.D.

The mission of the Behavioral Neuroscience Branch is to characterize the behavioral and neurobiological mechanisms of drug reward and relapse to drug use, as assessed in animal models.

Neurobiology of Relapse Section - click for larger version
Neurobiology of Relapse Section - click for larger version

Neurobiology of Relapse Section

Section Chief: Yavin Shaham, Ph.D.

Current projects of Shaham group:

  • Incubation of drug craving after forced or voluntary abstinence
  • Context-induced relapse to drug seeking after punishment or extinction
  • Aggression addiction and relapse

Current projects of Eugene Kiyatkin group (In-vivo electrophysiology unit):

  • Physiological analysis of motivated behavior using single-unit recording, iontophoresis, EEG/EMG, brain thermorecording, and glutamate electrochemistry
  • Neurophysiological and neurochemical mechanisms of action of drugs of abuse (cocaine, nicotine)
  • Alterations in blood-brain barrier in normal brain functions and during drug intoxication

Neurocircuitry of Motivation Section - click for larger version
Neurocircuitry of Motivation Section - click for larger version

Neurocircuitry of Motivation Section

Section Chief: Satoshi Ikemoto, Ph.D.

Projects include:

  • Optogenetic investigations of reward and approach-withdrawal motivation in rodents
  • Brain reward circuitry investigated by self-administration and place conditioning induced by intracranial drug injections
  • Forebrain-brainstem interaction detected by multi regional recordings of units and local field potentials in motivation and reward

Preclinical Pharmacology Section

Section Chief: Charles W. Bradberry, Ph.D.

The preclinical pharmacology section employs multimodal imaging and in-vivo electrophysiological approaches in animal models of drug use and abuse to better understand the systems neuroscience of addiction and its cognitive consequences. 

Ongoing projects:

  • Determining the neural underpinnings of attentional bias to drug cues using high density multisite in-vivo electrophysiological recording
  • Investigating the cognitive consequences of chronic cocaine self-administration and how changes in brain structure relate to them
  • Supporting medications development for nicotine and opiate dependence with clinically relevant animal models
  • Conducting preclinical investigations of the neurobiological consequences transcranial magnetic stimulation to better understand its potential use for treating addiction
Neurocircuitry of Motivation Section - click for larger version
Neuronal Ensembles in Drug Addiction - click for larger version

Neuronal Ensembles in Drug Addiction

Unit Chief: Bruce T. Hope, Ph.D.

Coming soon.

Neural Engineering Unit

Unit Chief: Da-Ting Lin, Ph.D.

Current projects of Lin group:

  • Development of miniScope imaging system for in vivo deep brain calcium imaging of neuronal activity in freely moving mice
  • Development of two-photon volume imaging technique for in vivo deep brain calcium imaging of neuronal activity in head-fixed mice
  • Development of closed-loop optical recording/stimulation device for real-time feedback control of neuronal activity in freely moving mice

Related Information...

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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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