Our research is in the general area of neural basis of conditioning, motivation and appetite with particular emphasis on taste aversion learning, neurobiology of taste preference, dopamine systems and motivation. Neuroscience techniques currently in use in the laboratory include immunohistochemistry, especially for cFos protein; electrolytic and excitotoxic brain lesions; nerve transections; inbred strains of rats and mice; testing of transgenic (knockout) mice. Behavioral testing includes taste aversion conditioning, assessment of the rewarding effects of drugs using conditioned place preference and assessment of the stimulant effects of drugs using automated activity monitors.
- October 1, 2014 Professor Emeritus Ilene Bernstein was awarded the Gantt Medal from the Pavlovian Society.
- January 8, 2014 Jeremy Clark was just awarded the President's Early-Career Scientist award.
- April 4, 2011 Nicholas Nasrallah, Annie L. Collins and Ilene Bernstein co-authored a study that found that adolescent alcohol use is associated with altered ability to evaluate risk.
- September 29, 2009 Nicholas A. Nasrallah and Ilene Bernstein had a paper published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
- July 14, 2009 Ilene Bernstein’s work (along with co-authors Sabiha Barot, who just completed her doctoral studies; Ain Chung, a doctoral student; and Jeansok Kim) was featured in University Week
- March 16, 2009 Jurate Lasiene successfully defended her dissertation on February 27, 2009.
- June 3, 2002 Rats depleted of salt become sensitized to amphetamine
- May 15, 2000 Mutant mice voluntarily drink more alcohol, recover faster from its sedative effects
- August 12, 1998 If you have a real hankering for the taste of salt, it may stem from your mother's morning sickness
- Clark, J.J. & Bernstein, I.L. Sensitization of salt appetite is associated with increased "wanting" but not "liking" of a salt reward in the sodium-deplete rat. Behavioral Neuroscience, 120: 206-10.
- Clark, J.J. & Bernstein, I.L.  A role for D2 but not D1 dopamine receptors in the cross-sensitization between amphetamine and salt appetite.Pharmacology, Biochemistry and Behavior, 83:277-84.
- Koh, M.T. & Bernstein, I.L.  Mapping conditioned taste aversion associations using c-fos reveals a dynamic role for insular cortex. Behavioral Neuroscience. 119: 388-98
- Koh, M.T., Wilkins, E.E. & Bernstein, I.L.  Novel taste elevates c-fos expression in the central amygdale and insular cortex: Implication for taste aversion learning. Behavioral Neuroscience, 117: 1416-1422.
- Roitman, M.F., Na, E., Anderson, G., Jones, T.A. & Bernstein, I.L.  Induction of a salt appetite alters dendritic morphology in nucleus accumbens and sensitizes rats to amphetamine. Journal of Neuroscience, 22:RC225 (1-5).