Drug Abuse and Impulsivity: Tests of Animal Models

Richards | de Wit

These studies were designed to advance the understanding of impulsive behavior and its relation to drug abuse by developing valid animal models of impulsive behavior and operationalizing different concepts of impulsivity. In addition, the research examined how both acute and chronic exposure to methamphetamine (METH) affects impulsive behavior and the roles the neurotransmitter systems dopamine (DA) and serotonin (5HT) in impulsive behavior. Relationships between measures of discounting, delayed reward, risk taking, and the ability to stop drug use were assessed. This project was conducted in parallel to a separate project using humans at the University of Chicago. Together these studies will advance the understanding of the behavioral and neural processes mediating impulsive behaviors, and of the effect of drugs of abuse on these behaviors. Dr. Harriet de Wit, University of Chicago’s Department of Psychiatry, is the co-investigator. This project was transferred from UB’s Department of Pediatrics in June, 2004. Funded by a grant of $793,537 from NIDA.