Title: THE ROLE OF A NEURAL PATHWAY ENCODING AVERSION IN MODULATING ETHANOL-SEEKING BEHAVIOR
Using in vivo electrophysiology and ultrasonic vocalization recordings in rodents to study neural correlates of ethanol addiction
Speaker: Shashank Tandon
Research Assistant Professor, University of Utah, Salt Lake City
Abstract: Alcohol abuse is a huge social health problem. Many people consume alcohol, yet only some vulnerable individuals develop alcohol use disorder. Variability in the risk for alcohol abuse is multifactorial and includes differences in behavioral and neural traits. Lateral Habenula, a forebrain brain area implicated in aversive states such as depression and anxiety, is now being studied for its role in drug addiction including ethanol addiction. My research focus is on the role of this area, its afferents, and its projections, in modulating ethanol-seeking behavior in rodents during the early and late stages of ethanol use and abuse. Determining the neural correlates of ethanol-related aversion will help us have a clearer understanding of what makes some individuals more vulnerable to suffer from ethanol addiction.