Department of Psychology Colloquium Series

January 28, 2019

Michael P. Saddoris, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor
Department of Psychology and Neuroscience
University of Colorado Boulder

Fixing what's broken: Neurobiological and behavioral interventions to repair drug-associated impairments

Substance abuse disorders are particularly noted for their devastating toll on health and well-being of the individual, where cycles of bingeing and relapse can take control of behavior. However, these chronic experiences with drugs of abuse alter brain function in ways that create persistent impairments in cognitive function that can last months (or longer) after the last drug-taking episode. These impairments can affect basic features of learning and decision making, which may in turn contribute to continued cycles of relapse. In this talk, I will use rat models of drug taking to identify the specific neural circuits impacted by repeated cocaine self-administration and methods we are developing in the lab to prevent or even reverse these impairments. Currently, our lab has been using multiple intervention strategies, including neural circuit manipulations of mesolimbic pathways and behavioral interventions using controllable stressors, both of which have shown promise in restoring normal function to these animals. These findings may provide potential translational therapeutic value in combatting addiction disorders, while also providing insight into the normal function of limbic system circuitry.


11:00 AM Monday, 11/26

Academic (Student Commons) building Room 1401 (Boettcher Foundation conference room)

Dr. Kristin Kilbourn, PhD, Associate Professor

Clinical Health Psychology, University of Colorado Denver


Alaina L. Carr, MA, Doctoral Candidate

Clinical Health Psychology, University of Colorado Denver


David Avram, MA, Doctoral Candidate

Clinical Health Psychology, University of Colorado Denver

The psychosocial impact of caregiving for a loved one with cancer: Examples of innovative interventions to manage caregiver distress

Family caregivers often assume the role of caregiving with little or no preparation. Their roles may vary from providing emotional support and companionship, assisting with medication administration and medical care, providing physical support, and overseeing communication with friends and family. Over time, the demand and complexities of these various tasks can lead to caregiver distress and burnout. As the population of informal caregivers continues to grow, there is a need for a greater understanding of the unique needs of these individuals as well as the development and testing of evidenced-based interventions targeted towards those at a high risk for poorer outcomes.  This presentation will present a brief overview of caregiver research as well as examples of our current work with an emphasis on psychosocial interventions aimed at decreasing distress and improving quality of life in those providing care to cancer patients.