Published: May 6, 2019

ryan bachtell and tracey larsonCU Psychology and Neuroscience Associate Professor Ryan Bachtell (Behavioral Neuroscience and Behavioral Genetics) and professional research assistant Tracey Larson were in the news, with an article about a publication of theirs appearing in the Colorado Arts and Sciences Magazine. The research, published in the Journal of Psychopharmacology, used a rat model to investigate whether exposure to caffeine in adolescence led to greater cocaine self-administration in adulthood. Their results indicated that it did. Rats who had been exposed to caffeine as adolescents self-administered cocaine more persistently and at a greater rate, whereas rats who had been exposed to caffeine as adults did not show this greater propensity compared to adults who had not been exposed to caffeine. There appears to be a critical period during which exposure to an addictive substance might lead to greater addictive behavior as an adult. Read the Arts & Science Magazine article, or read the original publication