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Neuroscience Homepage  > Faculty List > Caroll

Marilyn E. Carroll, Ph.D. 
Professor, Department of Psychiatry

Behavioral pharmacology, drug dependence, behavioral economics -- animal models.

My research is directed toward developing behavioral and pharmacological methods of reducing and preventing drug abuse. Animals are trained to self-administer drugs that humans abuse, and several phases of the addiction process are modeled, such as acquisition, maintenance, withdrawal, craving, and relapse. Our laboratory tests a number of therapeutic drugs, such as antidepressants and opioid and dopamine agonists and antagonists; they have shown considerable efficacy in reducing drug self-administration. Behavioral methods that are proving effective are enriching the environment with alternative nondrug reinforcers; for example, food and sweet-tasting drinking solutions. Behavioral economic analyses quantify the reinforcing efficacy of the drug under varied environmental and pharmacological treatments. Recent work shows that the greatest reduction in drug self-administration is achieved when behavioral and pharmacological treatments are combined. We are also interested in the interrelationships of feeding and drug abuse, and in testing the notion of common reward mechanisms for drugs, food, and other nondrug substances and events.

 Another topic of study in our laboratory is the dependence producing effect of drugs. We have found that sensitive behavioral performance measures reveal subtle behavioral deficits due to drug withdrawal when no physical signs are present. Further, these behavioral deficits last for long periods of time, and may be a factor contributing to relapse to drug abuse in humans. Behavioral disturbances have been measured after low drug doses and short or intermittent periods of access with drugs such as caffeine, nicotine, cocaine, and phencyclidine (PCP), dispelling the common notion that excessive or long term drug abuse is necessary to produce withdrawal effects. We are using this model to find pharmacological and behavioral strategies to relieve withdrawal distress.
Selected Publications
Roth ME, Carroll ME
Sex differences in the acquisition of IV methamphetamine self-administration and subsequent maintenance under a progressive ratio schedule in rats.
Psychopharmacology (Berl). 2003 Dec 4 (in press)
Cosgrove KP, Carroll ME
Effects of a non-drug reinforcer, saccharin, on oral self-administration of phencyclidine in male and female rhesus monkeys.
Psychopharmacology (Berl). 2003 Oct;170(1):9-16
Morgan AD, Carroll ME, Loth AK, Stoffel M, Wickman K
Decreased cocaine self-administration in Kir3 potassium channel subunit knockout mice. Neuropsychopharmacology. 2003 May;28(5):932-8
Lynch WJ, Roth ME, Carroll ME
Biological basis of sex differences in drug abuse: preclinical and clinical studies. Psychopharmacology (Berl). 2002 Nov;164(2):121-37
Cosgrove KP, Hunter RG, Carroll ME
Wheel-running attenuates intravenous cocaine self-administration in rats: sex differences.
Pharmacol Biochem Behav. 2002 Oct;73(3):663-71
Morgan AD, Campbell UC, Fons RD, Carroll ME
Effects of agmatine on the escalation of intravenous cocaine and fentanyl self-administration in rats.
Pharmacol Biochem Behav. 2002 Jul;72(4):873-80
Cosgrove KP, Carroll ME
Effects of bremazocine on self-administration of smoked cocaine base and orally delivered ethanol, phencyclidine, saccharin, and food in rhesus monkeys: a behavioral economic analysis.
J Pharmacol Exp Ther. 2002 Jun;301(3):993-1002


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