Graduate Studies Faculty
Suzanne Mitchell, Ph.D.
Neuroscience Graduate Program
Research Interests:Impulsivity; Risk taking; Learning; Decision-making; Drug and alcohol abuse
Preceptor RotationsAcademic Term Available Fall 2016 Yes Winter 2016 Yes Spring 2016 Yes
Faculty MentorshipDr. Mitchell might be available as a mentor for 2016-2017. Dr. Mitchell might be available as a mentor for 2015-2016.
Individuals who have a history of drug and alcohol use are more impulsive than individuals who do not have such a history. My research examines whether this difference existed prior to drug use, or is a consequence of the neuroadaptations due to drug use. To address these questions, we work with human, rat and mouse subjects. For example, we examine whether different genotypes are associated with impulsive behavior by comparing impulsivity in drug-naïve selected lines and inbred strains of mice and rats. Also we examine whether different levels of impulsivity predict responses the first time mice and rats are exposed to drugs of abuse, like alcohol, nicotine and methamphetamine. Measures of impulsivity in human subjects are used to examine whether acute exposure to drugs of abuse or withdrawal form use results in changes in behavior. In addition, my research examines the basic neural processes involved in decision making, including impulsive and risky decision making, using lesion techniques and imaging.