Photo of Suzanne H. Mitchell, Ph.D.

Suzanne H. Mitchell Ph.D.

  •      (503) 494-1650

    Portland Campus

    • Professor of Behavioral Neuroscience School of Medicine
    • Professor of Psychiatry School of Medicine
    • Professor Oregon Institute of Occupational Health Sciences
    • Neuroscience Graduate Program School of Medicine
    • Behavioral Neuroscience Graduate Program School of Medicine
    • M.D./Ph.D. Program Committee School of Medicine

Suzanne H. Mitchell, Ph.D., is a tenured Professor at Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU), in the Department of Behavioral Neuroscience, with secondary appointments in Psychiatry and in the Oregon Institute for Occupational Health Science. 

She obtained her B.Sc. and M.Sc. degrees at the University of Hull, England and her Ph.D. at SUNY-Stony Brook, USA. Her dissertation focused on the economics of foraging behavior of rats, examining the role of the energetic costs and benefits in feeding decisions. During a post-doctoral fellowship at the University of Chicago, Dr. Mitchell worked with Harriet de Wit, Ph.D. using behavioral economics as an explanation for use of alcohol, nicotine/cigarettes, and amphetamine in humans.  During that time she also began collaborating with Jerry Richards, Ph.D. on delay discounting studies with rats. Following her postdoctoral work, Dr. Mitchell was an Assistant Professor at the University of New Hampshire, where she continued to apply behavioral economic models to recreational drug use. She moved her lab to OHSU in 2001 to devote more time to research, particularly looking into why drug users tend to be more impulsive than non-drug users using human and animal models. Most recently she has returned to her earlier interests in energetic costs and her research has increased its scope to include effort-related decision-making in clinical populations. She has received funding from various NIH institutes (NHLBI, NIAAA, NIDA and NIH), has served on several study sections as a member and as an ad hoc participant, and has received awards for education and mentoring.   

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Areas of interest

  • Determinants of risky and impulsive decision-making
  • Alcohol, nicotine and marijuana use
  • Neurobiology of choice
  • Behavioral genetics of impulsivity
  • Behavioral economics


  • M.Sc., University of Hull, Hull United Kingdom 1987
  • Ph.D., State University of New York at Stony Brook, Stony Brook New York United States 1992

Memberships and associations

  • Society for the Quantitative Analysis of Behavior
  • Society for NeuroEconomics
  • Society for Neuroscience
  • Association for Behavior Analysis International


  • "The subjective value of delayed and probabilistic outcomes" Behavioural Processes January 2010
  • "Discounting of delayed rewards and executive dysfunction in individuals infected with hepatitis C" Journal of Clinical and Experimental Neuropsychology February 2011
  • "Gender differences in factors associated with alcohol drinking" Drug and Alcohol Dependence June 1 2012
  • "Mouse lines selected for alcohol consumption differ on certain measures of impulsivity" Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research November 2007
  • "The effects of ethanol on the relative preference for cigarettes" Behavioural Pharmacology  1997
  • "Delay or probability discounting in a model of impulsive behavior" Journal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior March 1999
  • "Rats bred for high alcohol drinking are more sensitive to delayed and probabilistic outcomes" Genes, Brain and Behavior October 2008
  • "Partial inactivation of nucleus accumbens core decreases delay discounting in rats without affecting sensitivity to delay or magnitude" Behavioural Brain Research July 15 2014
  • "The role of antipsychotics in smoking and smoking cessation" CNS Drugs  2011
  • "Acute Ethanol Administration and Reinforcer Magnitude Reduction Both Reduce Responding and Increase Response Latency in a Go/No-Go Task" Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research October 2012
  • "Basolateral amygdala lesions and sensitivity to reinforcer magnitude in concurrent chains schedules" Behavioural Brain Research August 22 2008
  • "Variation of isometric response force in the rat" Journal of Motor Behavior  1995
  • "The impact of three economic factors on cigarette procurement and consumption" Human Psychopharmacology June 1998
  • "Executive function deficits and glutamatergic protein alterations in a progressive 1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine mouse model of Parkinson's disease" Journal of Neuroscience Research December 1 2015
  • "Global and local morphometric differences in recently abstinent methamphetamine-dependent individuals" NeuroImage May 1 2010
  • "Risk, reward, and economic decision making in aging" Journals of Gerontology - Series B Psychological Sciences and Social Sciences May 2012
  • "Neuropsychological function and delay discounting in methamphetamine- dependent individuals" Psychopharmacology October 2006
  • "D4 receptor deficiency in mice has limited effects on impulsivity and novelty seeking" Pharmacology Biochemistry and Behavior September 2008
  • "Energetic and Motor Responses to Increasing Force Requirements" Journal of Experimental Psychology: Animal Behavior Processes April 1991
  • "Choice impulsivity" Personality Disorders: Theory, Research, and Treatment April 1 2015
  • "Large-scale topology and the default mode network in the mouse connectome" Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America December 30 2014
  • "Measures of impulsivity in cigarette smokers and non-smokers" Psychopharmacology  1999
  • "Mind-body practices" Drug and Alcohol Dependence October 1 2013
  • "Caffeine withdrawal symptoms and self-administration following caffeine deprivation" Pharmacology Biochemistry and Behavior  1995
  • "Dopamine D2 receptors mediate reversal learning in male C57BL/6J mice" Cognitive, Affective and Behavioral Neuroscience March 2006
  • "Changes in Energy Expenditure and Work During Response Acquisition in Rats" Journal of Experimental Psychology: Animal Behavior Processes April 1989
  • "Behavioral disinhibition in mice bred for high drinking in the dark (HDID) and HS controls increases following ethanol" Drug and Alcohol Dependence March 1 2014
  • "Behavioral and biological indicators of impulsivity in the development of alcohol use, problems, and disorders" Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research August 2010
  • "Delay discounting behavior and white matter microstructure abnormalities in youth with a family history of alcoholism" Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research September 2010
  • "Acute ethanol does not always affect delay discounting in rats selected to prefer or avoid ethanol" British Journal on Alcohol and Alcoholism September 2012

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