Biosciences Graduate Program

Ryan T. LaLumiere, PhD


Assistant Professor of Psychology

Contact Information

Office: E219 SH
Iowa City, IA 52242
Office Phone: 319-335-3657

Web: More About Dr. Lalumiere - Related Websites and Resources


BS, Psychology, Mount St Mary's College
PhD, Biological Sciences, University of California-Irvine

Education/Training Program Affiliations

Biosciences Graduate Program
Interdisciplinary Graduate Program in Neuroscience

Research Summary

Our laboratory investigates the neurobiology of drug addiction, focusing on the mechanisms underlying relapse to cocaine-seeking. Rats undergo cocaine self-administration, in which lever presses produce an infusions of cocaine, and then undergo extinction training, in which lever presses no longer produce cocaine infusions. We then model relapse by inducing reinstatement of lever pressing through a variety of triggers known to induce relapse in humans. We are particularly interested in the brain structures and neurotransmitters that underlie relapse and extinction and how these neural systems drive cocaine-seeking behavior or, alternatively, suppress cocaine-seeking. The prefrontal cortex, a structure known to be involved in decision-making, appears to be a crucial brain structure regulating the competition for control over cocaine-seeking behavior. Our work continues to try to elucidate the neural circuits that engage in this competition.

Date Last Modified: 07/01/2014 - 15:02:40