Stephen Hansen

Learn More
Spinocerebellar ataxia type 2 (SCA2) is an autosomal dominantly inherited disorder, which is caused by a pathological expansion of a polyglutamine (polyQ) tract in the coding region of the ATXN2 gene. Like other ataxias, SCA2 most overtly affects Purkinje cells (PCs) in the cerebellum. Using a transgenic mouse model expressing a full-length(More)
The substantial health risk posed by obesity and compulsive drug use has compelled a serious research effort to identify the neurobiological substrates that underlie the development these pathological conditions. Despite substantial progress, an understanding of the neurochemical systems that mediate the motivational aspects of drug-seeking and craving(More)
Escalation from moderate to excessive drug intake is a hallmark of human addiction that can be modeled in rats by giving them longer daily access time to self-administer cocaine. Nicotine and cocaine are commonly coabused drugs in humans and recent work in animals suggests that activation of nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChR) can increase cocaine(More)
If artists and art explore organization of the brain [Zeki, S., Lamb, M., 1994. The neurology of kinetic art. Brain 117, 607–636], then investigation of response to artistic performance holds promise as a window to perceptual and cognitive processes. A new instrument for recording real-time audience response – the portable Audience Response Facility (pARF)(More)
Cocaine- and amphetamine-regulated transcript (CART) peptides appear to modulate various effects of psychostimulant drugs. Injections of CART peptide into the nucleus accumbens (NAcc) inhibit locomotion produced by systemic injections of the psychostimulants cocaine and amphetamine. Intra-NAcc injections of CART peptide also inhibit locomotion produced by(More)
To test whether endogenous opioid peptides are necessary for the rewarding effects of ethanol, we examined operant oral self-administration of ethanol in mice congenic to the C57BL/6J strain but lacking expression of beta-endorphin, enkephalin or both peptides. The influences of prandial state, schedule interval and type, and ethanol concentration were all(More)
Spinocerebellar ataxia type 2 (SCA2) is an autosomal dominant disorder caused by the expansion of a CAG tract in the ATXN2 gene. The SCA2 phenotype is characterized by cerebellar ataxia, neuropathy and slow saccades. SCA2 foreshortens life span and is currently without symptomatic or disease-modifying treatments. Identifying function-specific therapeutics(More)
More sensitive assays of mouse motor ataxia may provide a better understanding of the pathological profile. Treadmill gait analysis using ventral imaging allows for unhindered access to the ambulating mouse. In contrast to genetic mutations or exogenous brain injury, ethanol (EtOH) allows for the detection of dose dependent changes in motor behavior, which(More)