Much of the research in our laboratory concerns interactions between cognition, motivation, and addiction. In some of our work, we investigate how acute and chronic exposure to drugs of abuse affects cognitive and motivational outcomes, with a particular focus on risky and impulsive decision-making processes. In other work, we investigate the neural mechanisms of such decision-making processes, and how individual differences in decision-making predict propensity for future drug use. Our laboratory uses behavioral, pharmacological, biochemical, and electrophysiological approaches in rodent models to identify mechanisms that mediate relationships between decision-making and drug use, with the goal of identifying therapeutic targets for both disordered decision-making and addiction. In addition, we collaborate with other laboratories on projects concerning the behavioral and neural basis of age-related cognitive impairments.
Outside of the laboratory, I teach courses on the neurobiology of addiction and other psychiatric disorders, and I serve on the editorial boards of several professional journals.
- Simon, N. W., Gilbert, R. J., Mayse, J. D., Bizon, J. L., & Setlow, B. (2009). Balancing risk and reward: A rat model of risky decision-making. Neuropsychopharmacology. 34, 2208-2217.
- Mitchell, M. R., Vokes, C. M., Blankenship, A. L., Simon, N. W., & Setlow, B. (2011). Effects of acute administration of nicotine, amphetamine, diazepam, morphine, and ethanol on risky decision-making in rats. Psychopharmacology. 218, 703-712.
- Simon N. W., Montgomery, K. S., Beas, B. S., Mitchell, M. R., LaSarge, C. L., Mendez, I. A., Bañeulos, C., Vokes, C. M., Taylor, A. B., Haberman, R. P., Bizon, J. L., & Setlow, B. (2011). Dopaminergic modulation of risky decision-making. The Journal of Neuroscience. 31, 17460-17470.
- Mendez, I. A., Gilbert, R. J., Bizon, J. L., & Setlow, B. (2012). Effects of acute administration of nicotinic and muscarinic cholinergic agonists and antagonists on performance in different cost-benefit decision making tasks in rats. Psychopharmacology. 224, 489-499.