Jason M. Uslaner

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A central premise of a number of theories of addiction is that discrete environmental stimuli repeatedly paired with drugs of abuse acquire incentive salience as a result of Pavlovian learning. There is, however, no unequivocal evidence supporting this assumption. Thus, we employed a Pavlovian conditioning procedure known to imbue non-drug reinforcers with(More)
In the search for strategies to treat schizophrenia, attention has focused on enhancing NMDA receptor function. In vitro experiments show that metabotropic glutamate 5 receptor (mGluR5) activation enhances NMDA receptor activity, and in vivo experiments indicate that mGluR5 positive allosteric modulators (PAMs) are effective in preclinical assays measuring(More)
In the dorsal striatum, there are two major populations of medium spiny projection neurons. One population is positive for dynorphin mRNA (DYN+), and these cells project preferentially to the substantia nigra, forming the so-called 'direct pathway'. A second population is positive for enkephalin mRNA (ENK+), and these cells influence the substantia nigra(More)
The subthalamic nucleus (STN) is traditionally thought of as part of a system involved in motor control but recent evidence suggests that it may also play a role in other psychological processes. Here we examined the effects of STN lesions on two measures of impulsivity and found that STN lesions increased 'impulsive action' (produced behavioral(More)
It is well known that the subthalamic nucleus (STN) plays an important role in regulating motor function, but recent studies suggest the STN is also involved in regulating motivated behavior. For example, bilateral lesions of the STN increase motivation for both food and cocaine as assessed by 'breakpoint' on a progressive ratio schedule. However, the(More)
We reported previously that environmental novelty enhances the acute psychomotor activating effects of amphetamine, its ability to induce behavioral sensitization, and its ability to induce c-fos mRNA in the striatum and other structures, relative to when amphetamine is given in the home cage. The purpose of the present experiment was 2-fold: to determine(More)
Repeated exposure to psychostimulant drugs produces long-lasting changes in dendritic structure, presumably reflecting a reorganization in patterns of synaptic connectivity, in brain regions that mediate the psychomotor activating and incentive motivational effects of these drugs, including the nucleus accumbens and prefrontal cortex. However, repeated(More)
Multiple studies indicate that N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptor hypofunction underlies some of the deficits associated with schizophrenia. One approach for improving NMDA receptor function is to enhance occupancy of the glycine modulatory site on the NMDA receptor by increasing the availability of the endogenous coagonists D-serine. Here, we(More)
Numerous changes occur during aging and Alzheimer's disease (AD) progression, including a decline in cholinergic functioning and cognition, as well as alterations in gene expression and activity in the nitric oxide/cyclic guanosine monophosphate (NO/cGMP) pathway. Donepezil, the current standard of care for Alzheimer's disease, improves cholinergic(More)
The environmental context in which amphetamine or cocaine are administered modulates both their acute psychomotor activating effects and their ability to induce sensitization. Here we report that environmental context differentially affects patterns of amphetamine- and cocaine-induced c-fos mRNA expression in the bed nucleus of the stria terminalis (BST)(More)