The focus of our laboratory is to apply methods of behavioral neuroscience toward the study of drug addiction and obesity. Using animal models, our goal is to reveal the neural and behavioral nature of the motivational processes underlying actions of drugs of abuse and natural rewards, such as food and voluntary physical activity. More specifically, we examine how these rewarding substances and events interact to produce dysregulated unhealthy behaviors that lead to addiction and obesity. Our research addresses these questions through an integrative approach of behavioral, pharmacological, and molecular biological techniques.

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