Neurobiology of drug and alcohol addiction and drug-induced cognitive dysfunction
Dr. Gulley's laboratory studies the neurobiological and behavioral consequences of repeated exposure to psychoactive drugs such as amphetamine, cocaine and alcohol. In addition, they investigate the mechanisms of age-related cognitive decline and the use of nutritional supplementation to mitigate that decline. Examples of current research questions addressed by the lab include (1)Are adolescents, compared to adults, more sensitive to drug-induced changes in neural function and behavior? (2) Are there more adverse consequences when drug exposure occurs early in life and are there age-dependent differences in drug-induced neuroadaptations? (3) Can nutritional supplements serve to enhance cognition and/or delay cognitive declines associated with normal aging?
In the lab, Dr. Gulley and his students use behavioral and physiological methods of analysis, both alone and in combination. For behavior, they study drug responses using operant self-administration, conditioned place preference, drug discrimination, and behavioral sensitization techniques. They also use operant food-reinforced responding to assess cognitive behaviors, including impulsivity, behavioral flexibility, attention, and working memory. Physiological measure include in vivo multiple neuron electrophysiology, which allows for the recording of the activity of a large number of brain cells as animals are actively behaving, in vitro electrophysiology, immunohistochemistry, gel electrophoresis, and immunoblotting techniques.
NIH R01 DA029815 “Mechanisms of amphetamine-induced plasticity in adolescents compared to adults”
AN ZB20 (Abbott Nutrition) “Neural mechanisms of nutrient-induced cognitive enhancement”
Sherrill LK, Stanis JJ, Gulley JM (2013). Age-dependent effects of repeated amphetamine exposure on working memory in rats. Behavioural Brain Research, 242:84-94. (http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.bbr.2012.12.044)
Hankosky ER, Gulley JM (2013). Performance on an impulse control task is altered in adult rats exposed to amphetamine during adolescence. Developmental Psychobiology, 55:733-744 (http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/dev.21067)
Gulley JM, Juraska JM (2013). The effects of abused drugs on adolescent development of corticolimbic circuitry and behavior. Neuroscience, 249:3-20. (http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.neuroscience.2013.05.026)
Hankosky ER, Kofsky NM, Gulley JM (2013). Age of exposure-dependent effects of amphetamine on behavioral flexibility. Behavioral Brain Research, 252:117-25. (http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.bbr.2013.06.002)
Hammerslag LR, Gulley JM (2014). Age and sex differences in reward learning in adolescent and adult rats. Developmental Psychobiology, 56:611-621. (http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/dev.21127)
Hammerslag LR, Gulley JM (2016). Sex differences in adolescent behavior and vulnerability and their role in adolescent vulnerability to substance use. Behavioral Brain Research, 298:15-26. (http://dx.doi.org/10.1016//j.bbr.2015.04.008)