About Div. 28
What is Psychopharmacology?
Psychopharmacology is the study of the effects of drugs on behavior, combining methods of psychology and pharmacology. Psychopharmacologists carry out their duties within a number of different settings, including academia, government, private research, industry and clinical. The study of the effects of drugs on behavior has been productively examined in human as well as nonhuman populations, both within and outside the laboratory. The central theme running through the research in this division is the use of behavioral principles as they interact with the effects of pharmacological agents and environmental events.
Basic Laboratory Research
1. Neurochemical Mechanisms
- Abused substances (e.g., alcohol, opioids, cocaine, methamphetamine, tobacco).
- Psychiatric disorders and treatment medications (e.g., anxiety, depression, psychosis).
- Learning and memory disorders (e.g., Alzheimer’s, developmental disabilities).
2. Behavioral Pharmacology of Psychoactive Drugs
- Alteration of sensory and motor functions.
- Behavioral effects and toxicity.
- Reinforcing and discriminative drug effects.
- Animal models of psychiatric and substance abuse disorders.
3. Applied Treatment Development and Evaluation Research
- Laboratory testing of new medications for psychiatric and substance abuse disorders.
- Mechanism of therapeutic medication effects.
- Medication effects on learning and performance.
- Models for abuse liability prediction.
- Cost effectiveness of treatment and prevention approaches.
1. Clinical Treatment Evaluation
- Drug and alcohol abuse.
- Depression, anxiety, attention deficits, and developmental disorders.
- Combined behavioral and pharmacological therapies.
- Relapse prevention strategies.
2. Epidemiological Field Research
- Prevalence of substance abuse and behavioral disorders.
- Etiological factors.
- Prevention strategies, development and evaluation.
- Evaluation of co-occurring disorders.
- Bidirectional approach which values both clinician and researcher perspectives.
- Removing barriers to the adoption of evidence-based treatments.