Seminars & Events
Thursday, September 11, 2014: Dr. Bevil Conway (Wellesley College) will speak on his research in visual neuroscience and color at 4:30 pm in Goodpaster Hall 195.
Monday, October 27, 2014: Dr. Todd Gould (University of Maryland Baltimore) will speak on "Genes to behaviors to treatments in bipolar disorder" at 4:45 pm in Goodpaster Hall 195.Friday, December 5, 2014: Dr. Brian Mathur (University of Maryland Baltimore) will speak on "Braking bad: Aberrant inhibitory neurotransmission in addiction" at 3:00 pm in Goodpaster Hall 195.
Miller, Emily (2012). Effects of cocaine on behavior in the NVHL model of schizophrenia. (Mentor: A.M. Brady)
Elevated rates of substance abuse disorders have been observed in the schizophrenic population as compared to the general population. Two hypotheses, the self-medication hypothesis and the similar neurobiology hypothesis, have been proposed to explain this difference. Studies have shown that the drugs schizophrenic patients report using do not correlate with the symptoms they exhibit (Volkow, 2009) and that the onset of drug abuse often occurs before the onset of schizophrenia (Hambrecht & Hafner, 1996; Levander, Eberhard, & Lindstrom, 2007). Similar neurobiology would result in persons with schizophrenia having enhanced vulnerability to drug addiction (Chambers, Krystal, & Self, 2001). This study aimed to examine behavior in the NVHL model of schizophrenia during the withdrawal period following self-administration of cocaine in order to elucidate the short-term and long-term effects of cocaine on behavior in the NVHL model. If the deficits associated with this model were ameliorated by exposure to cocaine, this would have provided support for the self-medication hypothesis. However, while we were able to replicate the deficits in pre-pulse inhibition and decreased social interaction characteristic of the NVHL model, we did not observe any improvements in these deficits following exposure to cocaine. The lack of behavioral changes in NVHL animals after cocaine exposure suggests that drug abuse in patients with schizophrenia may not be an attempt to relieve their symptoms, but rather an additional symptom of schizophrenia.