Research Interests: Operant conditioning, attending,, conditioned reinforcement, behavioral persistence, drug self-administration, drug cues, quantitative analyses of behavior
My research focuses on basic principles of learning and behavior using laboratory animals (i.e., rats and pigeons) as subjects. Much of this research focuses on behavioral momentum, relapse of extinguished responding, conditioned reinforcement, and attention. In addition, some of my research is directed at understanding the contribution of these basic behavioral processes to drug abuse. One line of research funded by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism focuses on using behavioral momentum theory to understand the impact of drug-associated contexts on the persistence and relapse of alcohol seeking. A second line of research funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse examines applications of behavioral momentum theory to understand the role of cocaine-associated contexts on the persistence and relapse of cocaine seeking.
Graduate students working in my lab receive full research assistantships for at least their first two years. Recent students in the lab have published extensively based on their collaborations on the projects above and as a result of student-initiated projects. I work closely with my students and consider them collaborators and junior colleagues. My goal is to provide students with the skills and credentials needed to pursue research intensive academic careers.
LINK: Behavior Analysis Psychology Program