Department of Psychology

Behavioral Pharmacology Research

Behavioral pharmacologists are interested in investigating the behavioral effects of psychoactive compounds. In some cases, research is directed towards the use of drugs to increase our understanding of behavior. Examples of this type of research at UNCW include evaluating the effects of different compounds on learning and memory processes. Other areas of active investigation include determining behavioral factors involved in the development of tolerance and sensitization to specific drugs and investigation of the behavioral and neurochemical differences associated with self-administered versus experimenter delivered drugs of abuse. Other studies use behavioral procedures to increase our knowledge of drug action. These studies include evaluating the effects of potential pharmacotherapeutic compounds on responding maintained by different drugs of abuse and evaluating changes in extracellular concentrations of neurotransmitters using in vivo microdialysis procedures during drug administration. The Behavioral Pharmacology research laboratories at UNCW provide exposure to and training in sophisticated operant conditioning techniques meshed with "state of the art" methods in neurochemistry and electrophysiology providing an integrated approach toward the identification and elucidation of behavioral, pharmacologic and neurobiologic basis of drug action. The application of these research endeavors encompass the evaluation and treatment of drug abuse and psycho-pathologies including anxiety, depression, and aggression. Both graduate and undergraduate students have provided invaluable contributions to this area of research within the Psychology Department at UNCW.

The following faculty members research this area of psychology. Please follow the links to their homepages.