Ph.D. Univeristy of Illinois, Biopsychology
Bringing Big Data to Studies of Gender and Addiction
Addiction is a complex compulsive behavior that can affect men and women differently and arises from complicated interactions between the individual and environment. We will articulate an ontology and develop a scaffolded series of search tools that enable us to explore diverse data sources, including the HathiTrust and longitudinal health studies that the UM has been conducting for decades. Analyzing cultural sources from the HathiTrust will enable us to trace how addiction and related concepts such as stigma and deviance have developed over time. The longitudinal health studies allow close analysis of prevalence of addiction and compulsive behaviors in families. To link individuals and families more closely with their social and economic environments, we will develop “microhistories” of the communities in which study participants lived. Analyzing the familial and environmental patterns together across generations may reveal possible epigenetic mechanisms mediating sex differences in risk and protective factors for addiction. We will also consider individual health trajectories in the context of social and cultural beliefs about addiction, stigma, and blame.
Cummings, J. A., Clinton, S. M., Perry, A. N., Akil, and Becker, J. B. Male rats that differ in their response to novelty demonstrate differences in sexual behavior and motivation. Behavioral Neuroscience (2013) Feb;127(1):47-58.
Becker, J.B. Commentary: Puberty and shifting values (invited commentary on Bell et al) European Journal of Neuroscience (2013) 37: 455-456.
Meitzen, J., Perry, A.N., Westenbroek, C., Hedges, V.L., Becker, J.B., and Mermelstein, P.G., Enhanced striatal β1-adrenergic receptor expression following hormone loss in adulthood is programmed by both early sexual differentiation and puberty: a study of humans and rats. Endocrinology (2013) 154(5):1820-31.
Westenbroek, C., Perry, A. N. and Becker, J. B. Pair housing attenuates the motivation to take cocaine in female rats. Behavioral Brain Research (2013) 252:68-71.
Perry, A. N., Westenbroek, C., and Becker, J. B., The Development of a Preference for Cocaine Over Food Identifies Individual Rats with Addiction-like Behaviors (2013) PlosOne 2013 Nov 18;8(11):e79465. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0079465.
Perry, A. N., Westenbroek, C., Becker J. B. Impact of pubertal and adult estradiol treatments on cocaine self-administration, Hormones and Behavior (2013) Sep;64(4):573-8. doi: 10.1016/j.yhbeh.2013.08.007. Epub 2013 Sep 5.
Cummings, J.A., Jagannathan, K., Jackson, L., Becker, J.B., Sex differences in the effects of estradiol in the nucleus accumbens and striatum on the response to cocaine: neurochemistry and behavior, Drug and Alcohol Dependence (2013) Sep 19. pii: S0376-8716(13)00371-2. doi: 10.1016/j.drugalcdep.2013.09.009. [Epub ahead of print].
Becker, J. N., Perry, A. N., and Westenbroek, C. Sex Differences in the Neural Mechanisms Mediating Addiction: A new synthesis and hypothesis. Biology of Sex Differences (2012) 3(1):14-49.
Cummings, J. A, and Becker, J. B. Quantitative Assessment of Female Sexual Motivation in the Rat: Hormonal Control of Motivation. Journal Neuroscience Methods, (2012) 204(2):227-233.