News Release| Laboratory of Cognitive Neuroscience; Cal State L.A.

Note to news directors and editors: To arrange an interview with CSULA Professor Alicia Izquierdo or lead student researcher Alisa Kosheleff, please contact the CSULA Public Affairs at (323) 343-3050. 

CSULA researchers find brief meth exposure has long-lasting effects on decision making

Study coauthored by CSULA graduate published in ‘Psychopharmacology’ journal

Los Angeles, CA – Methamphetamine (meth) administration in animals, even for a short time, can lead to a variety of cognitive and behavioral deficits, according to a research article published recently in the Psychopharmacology journal. 

The paper, entitled “Work aversion and associated changes in dopamine and serotonin transporter after methamphetamine exposure in rats,” analyzed the behavior of 18 male Long Evans rats, which were administered either several low doses of meth or saline for a control period.

“We found that the administration of a single day of meth resulted in maladaptive changes in effort-based decision making,” said Alisa Kosheleff, a former graduate student of Cal State L.A. who was first author of the study. “These findings suggest that even modest meth exposure may have significant effects on decision making and behavior.”

Kosheleff shared, “This research could help explain some of the maladaptive behavior frequently seen in human meth users, such as why they might find it so difficult to work for long-term rewards like sobriety.”

To read the full text of the paper:     

In addition to Kosheleff, co-authors of the research paper published in Psychopharmacology include Millie Grimes, a former CSULA post-baccalaureate student; Steve J. O’Dell, Ph.D. researcher at UC Irvine; John F. Marshall, professor of neurobiology and behavior at UC Irvine; and Alicia Izquierdo, assistant professor of psychology at CSULA.

This study was conducted in CSULA’s Laboratory of Cognitive Neuroscience, under the direction of Professor Izquierdo, and funded by a grant from the National Institutes of Health-National Institute of Mental Health. All procedures were approved by the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee.

Izquierdo said, “Ongoing studies in our lab are providing support for the idea that addiction and maladaptive decision making go hand-in-hand and that both may be rooted in neurobiological changes that ensue after taking even modest amounts of meth. Increasingly, we are finding that the changes in the brain can be quite subtle, but the behavioral and cognitive effects long lasting.”

Additionally, another research article was recently published in a special issue of Behavioral Neuroscience, entitled “Orbitofrontal Cortex and Basolateral Amygdala Lesions Result in Suboptimal and Dissociable Reward Choices on Cue-Guided Effort in Rats.” Along with former CSULA graduate student Serena Ostrander as the lead author, other researchers include Izquierdo and former CSULA grad students Victor A. Cazares, Charissa Kim, Shauna Cheung, and Isabel Gonzalez. For the abstract and full text link to the research article published in Behavioral Neuroscience:

For more about the University’s Laboratory of Cognitive Neuroscience: /univ/ppa/spotlight/archive/2010/meth-research.php.

# # #


Working for California since 1947: The 175-acre hilltop campus of California State University, Los Angeles is at the heart of a major metropolitan city, just five miles from Los Angeles’ civic and cultural center. More than 20,000 students and 220,000 alumni—with a wide variety of interests, ages and backgrounds—reflect the city’s dynamic mix of populations. Six Colleges offer nationally recognized science, arts, business, criminal justice, engineering, nursing, education and humanities programs, among others, led by an award-winning faculty. Cal State L.A. is home to the critically-acclaimed Luckman Jazz Orchestra and to the Honors College for high-achieving students, opening in fall 2011. Programs that provide exciting enrichment opportunities to students and community include an NEH-supported humanities center; a NASA-funded center for space research; and a growing forensic science program, housed in the Hertzberg-Davis Forensic Science Center.