- Andrew Fox, Ph.D. - NIH Postdoctoral Fellow (T32)
- Dean Williams, Ph.D. - Senior LSI Scientist
My laboratory has been developing rodent behavioral assay procedures for characterizing both the beneficial and unwanted effects of antipsychotic drugs (i.e., neuroleptics) in the preclinical setting. Conceptually this work draws on ideas receiving attention in psychopharmacology, behavior analysis, behavioral pharmacology, and behavioral neuroscience. Rodent models of fine motor tremor, sustained attention, immobility, orolingual function, focused stereotypy, and tremor are used to address three interrelated themes: 1) functional differences between D1-like and D2-like dopamine receptor blockers; 2) quantitative behavioral differences between typical (e.g., haloperidol) and atypical neuroleptics (clozapine, risperidone, olanzapine, ziprasidone, quetiapine, and aripiprazole); and 3) assessment of the interaction between dopamine receptor blockers and a variety of cholinergic, serotonergic, and glutamatergic compounds as the latter may lessen or worsen neuroleptic-induced behavioral disruptions. In addition, we are collaborating with several other laboratories that are researching rodent models of neurodegenerative diseases such as Huntington’s Disease, Parkinson’s Disease, and Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis. In addition, Dr. Fowler and Dr. Williams are co-mentoring Dr. Fox, who is working on behavioral pharmacology research investigating how benzodiazepines (e.g., lorazepam) modulate emotional behavior in rats or pigeons evoked by predictable large changes in amount of reward.