I received my BA from the University of Southern California in 1968, my MA from the University of Colorado in 1972, and my PhD from the University of Colorado in 1975. I have been on the faculty of the Department of Psychology at Rutgers University since 1975. I am active in the Biopsychology and Behavioral Neuroscience area in the Department of Psychology and in the NeuroPharmacoGenetics Lab in the Center of Alcohol Studies. My research focuses primarily on Pavlovian conditioning of directed action (autoshaping or Sign-Tracking) and its relationship to alcohol abuse.
One of my long-standing interests concerns the role of objects as signals for reward in the induction of symptoms of drug abuse in rats. In a series of studies, I have explored the conditions under which an object, such as an alcohol sipper, contributes to elevated levels of alcohol drinking. In other studies, I have explored the conditions under which the alcohol sipper in combination with the presentation of a social stimulus leads to still higher levels of alcohol drinking.
My other research interests are collaborative in nature. At the Center of Alcohol Studies, we explore the genetic basis of Pavlovian conditioning of autoshaping in rats and the genetic basis of autoshaping-induced initiation and maintenance of alcohol drinking in rats.