Our main focus is on the psychological and neurobiological mechanisms that underlie addiction, with specific emphasis on alcoholism, as well as the learning and memory processes involved in addiction.

Alcohol addiction (alcohol use disorder) is the second most detrimental neuropsychiatric disorder. Four percent of world-wide death is associated with alcohol abuse, and chronic harmful alcohol use is one of the four most common risk factors for multiple diseases.

Addiction is thought to be a pathological usurpation of the mechanisms underlying learning and memory. Therefore, we study the learning and memory processes that participate in the development of addiction. We also look for neuroadaptations in the brain that occur in addiction, such as changes in gene expression, in proteins and in signaling pathways, and in neurotransmission.

Research

Research approaches

 

We believe that the understanding of brain mechanisms underlying neuropsychiatric disorders can be best achieved using a multidisciplinary approach. Therefore, we combine behavioral, molecular and biochemical approaches.

  • In vivo intra-cerebral manipulation and psychopharmacology: Systemic and intra-cerebral pharmacology; Stereotaxic brain surgeries; Viral-mediated gene delivery; Histology.

  • Behavior: Animal models of moderate and excessive drug/alcohol self-administration, relapse, and drug reward; Assessment of motivational and emotional factors in drug consumption; Animal models of learning and memory.

  • Biochemistry and molecular biology: DNA, RNA and protein assays, immunohistochemistry, immunofluorescence and microscopy.

Publications

 

Sharet Building, Room 124

School of Psychological Sciences

Sagol school of Neuroscience

Tel Aviv University, Tel Aviv 69978, Israel

barakseg@tau.ac.il

Phone: +972-3-6408969

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©2020 by Barel Weiner

barelkess.w@gmail.com