Graduation Year

2005

Document Type

Thesis

Degree

M.A.

Degree Granting Department

Psychology

Major Professor

Dr. Cheryl Kirstein.

Keywords

Development, Adolescent, Dopamine, Novelty-seeking, Impulsivity, Neurochemistry, Nucleus accumbens

Abstract

Adolescence is a time of high risk behavior and increased exploration. This developmental period is marked by a greater probability to initiate drug use and is associated with an increased risk to develop addiction and dependency in adulthood. Human adolescents are predisposed toward an increased likelihood of risk taking behaviors (Zuckerman M, 1986), including drug use or initiation. The purpose of this study was to examine differences in developmental risk taking behaviors and neurochemical responsivity to cocaine based on these behavioral characteristics. Adolescent and adult animals were exposed to a novel stimulus in a familiar environment to assess impulsivity, novelty preference and exploratory behaviors, subsequently, in vivo microdialysis was performed to assess dopaminergic responsivity to cocaine.

Share

COinS