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Understanding how

experiences in adolescence

shape the developing brain

Drugs of Abuse

Drug use during adolescence is a strong predictor of lifetime abuse.

This line of work seeks to establish how stimulant drugs affect the developmental changes that are ongoing in the adolescent brain and their behavioral consequences. The work is carried out in both males and females and examines effects of excessive drug exposure and therapeutic-like doses as well as critical periods of vulnerability within adolescence. We are alsoth e examine effects other types of drugs, including cannabinoids and opioids.

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Stressors

Exposure to social stress during adolescence increases vulnerability to lifetime cognitive deficits associated with psychiatric disorders, but not all adolescents are equally susceptible. This line of research examines how exposure to social defeat stress in adolescence alters the adolescent developing brain and the maturation of cognitive processing. We are particularly interested in discovering mechanisms and biomarkers of susceptibility and resilience to these effects. We carry carry out this work in both males and females

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* Figure taken from Vassilev P, Pantoja-Urbán AH, et al., (2021) eNeuro

More Projects

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Guidance cues and

stress-induced prefrontal

cortex plasticity