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Our research combines behavioral science and neuroscience methods to understand causes, consequences, and treatments for addictive disorders and related mental health disorders. Our research examines factors that contribute to pathological decision-making in individuals with substance use disorders, the behavioral and brain basis of motivation to use alcohol and other drugs, and the effects of environmental contexts and physiological states on addictive behaviors.

Behavioral Science

Our researchers seek to study addiction using drug demand, delay discounting, and other tools from behavioral science to better understand the onset and maintenance of substance use disorders. By elucidating the environmental and individual-level factors involved in addictive behaviors, we hope to generate novel findings that may improve the efficacy of our intervention projects.

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Intervention and Prevention

While interventions aimed at improving well-being may be administered after the onset of addictive behaviors, our researchers have identified points of wellness critical to preventing the onset of addictive behaviors in substance use, risky sexual choices, and gambling. By administering these interventions to those predisposed to environmental stressors, our researchers hope to create better life outcomes for all.

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Using neuroimaging technology, researchers at KU observe structural and functional changes at the neural level in people who use alcohol, cannabis, tobacco, and other substances. The Hoglund Biomedical Imaging Center of the University of Kansas Medical Center allows our researchers to use state-of-the-art imaging equipment to advance our understanding of the neural mechanisms of addiction.  

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Health Disparities

The burden of addiction disproportionately affects low-resource communities and individuals from underrepresented minorities. Our research seeks to better understand these gaps and develop solutions to address disparities in health-related outcomes. 

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In line with our mission to create sustained research and apply findings to the betterment of society, our researchers are invested in developing best practices for research and training the next generation of addiction researchers, both at home and in collaboration with other institutions.

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A man wearing a red shirt gestures toward lighted shelves holding liquor bottles behind in the Bar Lab

Research Facilities

Located on the 3rd floor of the Dole Human Development Center on the KU Lawrence campus, the Cofrin Logan Center has extensive space to support research, including private testing and interview rooms, data analysis workstations, faculty offices, conference rooms, and office space for trainees to work on their research and academics.