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Brigham Young University, Psychology Department
Mission: The research program investigates neurobiological models of alcohol abuse and its associated psychobiology using nonhuman primates. Primate models are based on findings showing that voluntary alcohol consumption patterns in some nonhuman primates parallel features of human alcohol abuse. Anxiety, impulsivity, and aggression are studied extensively and their association with alcohol intake is tested. Serotonin-mediated personality profiles that are correlated with excessive alcohol consumption in humans, such as excessive and inappropriate aggression, deficits of impulse control, social deviance, and social ostracism are modeled using rhesus monkeys. Paramount in this research are studies that manipulate genetic and environmental backgrounds and then use developmental designs to investigate subjects longitudinally. Our laboratory studies have examined between- and within-rearing group differences in behaviors that are correlated with CNS differences and alcohol consumption. Monkeys are selectively bred for differences in CNS serotonin functioning and/or alcohol consumption. These subjects are then reared in closely controlled settings where their experiences can be selectively manipulated to investigate which experiences affect the phenotypic expression of their genotypic background.
Training Opportunities: Masters in psychology.
Financial Aid: If you are accepted in to the program, there is a yearly TA stipend, dependent on your competitiveness.
Supported Species: Macaca mulatta (rhesus macaque)
Last Updated: 2009-06-20
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