Danny Lustberg ’14, and Douglas Weldon, the Stone Professor of Psychology, presented a poster at the annual meeting of the Society for Neuroscience in Washington, D.C., on Nov. 19. Meghan Hind, a student at Harvard University was a coauthor of the presentation.
Their report described the effects of repeated administration of apomorphine (a drug that stimulates dopamine receptors) in rats. Animals that received this treatment showed a reverse tolerance (i.e., increased sensitivity to the drug) and an increase in the expression of brain-derived neurotrophic factor in a part of the brain known to be involved in motivation for reward. The research contributes to our understanding how the nervous system changes in response to drug administration, and it relates to neurobiological processes that might be related to drug abuse. The data were obtained by Lustberg as part of his senior thesis in neuroscience.