Association for Behavior Analysis International

The Association for Behavior Analysis International® (ABAI) is a nonprofit membership organization with the mission to contribute to the well-being of society by developing, enhancing, and supporting the growth and vitality of the science of behavior analysis through research, education, and practice.


36th Annual Convention; San Antonio, TX; 2010

Event Details

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Invited Tutorial #439
CE Offered: BACB
An Introduction to Using Genetics in Combination With Behavior Analysis to Understand Drug Abuse
Monday, May 31, 2010
2:30 PM–3:20 PM
Ballroom A (CC)
Area: BPH/EAB; Domain: Experimental Analysis
BACB CE Offered. CE Instructor: Anibal Gutierrez Jr., Ph.D.
Chair: Jesse Dallery (University of Florida)
Presenting Authors: : SUZANNE H. MITCHELL (Oregon Health and Science University)
Abstract: The tutorial will first provide an introduction to behavioral genetics. This introduction will outline the basics of population genetics and will describe different gene mapping methods. Then I will discuss how selective breeding, classical genetic crosses and inbred strain research in animals can be used to identify the amount of variation in behavior that can be attributed to genetics rather than environmental influences. I will also review techniques used with humans, including family history and genome-wide association studies. After discussing the positive and negative features of the various techniques, I will discuss examples of findings using different genetic mouse models that provide information about the shared genetics between self-control (delay discounting and behavioral inhibition) with alcohol drinking, alcohol withdrawal and sensitivity to the stimulating effects of methamphetamine. These examples will be used to demonstrate the critical role of behavioral phenotypes and operational definitions of behavior in moving this area of research forward. Implications of these findings for human drug-using populations will be assessed as well as the limitations of animal phenotypes.
SUZANNE H. MITCHELL (Oregon Health and Science University)
Suzanne H. Mitchell, Ph.D., is an Associate Professor at Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU) in the Behavioral Neuroscience and Psychiatry departments. She obtained her undergraduate degree at the University of Hull, England, and her Ph.D. at State University of New York at Stony Brook. Her research at OHSU uses lesion techniques and imaging to examine the basic neural processes involved in decision-making, including impulsive and risky decision making. Other research areas of interest include learning, cognition, and drug abuse. Dr. Mitchell has published extensively and lectures internationally on these topics.



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