Ryan T LaLumiere, PhD

LaLumiereRT
Psychology
Assistant Professor
Summary statement: 

Neurobiology of drug addiction and neurobiology of memory consolidation

Office phone: 
(319) 335-3657
Office number: 
E218
Office building: 
SSH
Lab phone: 
(319) 335-2404
Lab room number: 
419
Lab building: 
SLP

My research focuses on the neurobiology underlying cocaine-seeking behavior in rats. We use a drug self-administration model in order to understand the relapse back to drug-seeking behavior. Rats undergo cocaine self-administration in which rats receive cocaine infusions for pressing a lever. After a few weeks of self-adminsitration, rats undergo extinction training in which lever presses no longer produce cocaine infusions. The rats’ lever pressing can be reinstated using triggers known to induce relapse in people. Using this model of drug-seeking, we investigate the neural systems that drive this behavior, with a particular focus on the medial prefrontal cortex. In particular, our recent work has examined how extinction training creates a neural circuit that suppresses drug-seeking and competes with the neural circuit that drives drug-seeking. It appears that divisions within the prefrontal cortex control these competing circuits and ultimately determine the behavior of the animal.

“I have been a resident of Iowa City for several years now, and while I love to travel, I always find myself eager to get back home. There are few places that offer big-city features like theatre, fine dining, and stellar educational opportunities while at the same time making you feel like a member of a close-knit community. I love that I can walk into Prairie Lights Bookstore and be greeted by name, even with Iowa City being the only UNESCO City of Literature in the U.S. (and one of only 6 in the world).”