Shao-Ju Chang

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Orexin A/hypocretin-1 (oxA/hcrt-1) is known to be a modulator of dopamine-dependent neuronal activity and behaviors. However, the role of this system in driving motivated behaviors remains poorly understood. Here, we show that orexin/hypocretin receptor-1 (ox/hcrt-1R) signaling is important for motivation for highly salient, positive reinforcement. Blockade(More)
BACKGROUND Continued consumption of alcohol despite deleterious consequences is a hallmark of alcoholism and represents a critical challenge to therapeutic intervention. Previous rat studies showed that enduring alcohol self-administration despite pairing alcohol with normally aversive stimuli was only observed after very long-term intake (>8 months).(More)
Whether mammalian scent-tracking is aided by inter-nostril comparisons is unknown. We assessed this in humans and found that (i) humans can scent-track, (ii) they improve with practice, (iii) the human nostrils sample spatially distinct regions separated by approximately 3.5 cm and, critically, (iv) scent-tracking is aided by inter-nostril comparisons.(More)
Compulsive drinking despite serious adverse medical, social and economic consequences is a characteristic of alcohol use disorders in humans. Although frontal cortical areas have been implicated in alcohol use disorders, little is known about the molecular mechanisms and pathways that sustain aversion-resistant intake. Here, we show that nucleus accumbens(More)
Approximately 90% of alcoholics relapse within 4 years, in part because of an enhanced motivation to seek alcohol (EtOH). A novel G protein modulator (Gpsm1/AGS3) was up-regulated in the rat nucleus accumbens core (NAcore) but not in other limbic nuclei during abstinence from operant EtOH self-administration. Furthermore, NAcore AGS3 knockdown reduced EtOH(More)
The cellular mechanisms underlying pathological alcohol seeking remain poorly understood. Here, we show an enhancement of nucleus accumbens (NAcb) core action potential firing ex vivo after protracted abstinence from alcohol but not sucrose self-administration. Increased firing is associated with reduced small-conductance calcium-activated potassium channel(More)
BACKGROUND Alcoholism imposes a tremendous social and economic burden. There are relatively few pharmacological treatments for alcoholism, with only moderate efficacy, and there is considerable interest in identifying additional therapeutic options. Alcohol exposure alters SK-type potassium channel (SK) function in limbic brain regions. Thus, positive SK(More)
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