Animal models of Addiction and Psychopathologies

Our main focus is on the psychological and neurobiological mechanisms that underlie psychiatric disorders, and in particular addiction

We are using rodent models of addiction, anxiety, learning and memory. We focus on behavioral models relevant to different stages of addiction (craving, drug reward, intoxication, sensitization, tolerance, excessive alcohol consumption, withdrawal symptoms, relapse). We are looking at brain correlates of these addiction phases, and testing relevant pharmacotherapy and behavioral approaches.

Another focus of the lab is aberrant learning and memory processes in psychopathologies.

The lab occupies 70 sqm, and personnel includes 7-10 graduate students, postdoc and scientists.


·        Behavioral equipment: Operant self-administration chambers, conditioned place preference chambers, behavioral tracking system (ethovision-based), fear conditioning chambers, various rodent mazes, home cage drinking monitoring.

·         Biological facility and methods: Real-time PCR, fluorescence microscopy, western blot, immunohistochemistry, histology, rodent stereotaxic surgeries.

Behavioral rodent models of psychopathology, addiction, learning and memory:

·         Operant drug/alcohol self-administration

·         Home cage alcohol/liquid consumption assays

·         Conditioned place preference (drug reward assay)

·         Locomotor activity/ open field

·         Behavioral sensitization

·         Withdrawal syndrome, including anhedonia, social withdrawal, anxiety-like behavior and more

·         Models of motivational aspects in addiction

·         Anxiety and depression behavioral models

·         Conditioned taste aversion (learning assay)

·         Fear conditioning and memory (learning/memory assay)

·         Novel object recognition (memory assay)

·         Memory consolidation and reconsolidation assays 

Capabilities and specific areas of expertise: 

Neurobiology of psychopathology, Learning and memory, Neurobiology of addiction.

We have a strong background, theoretical knowledge and hands-on expertise in behavioral assays in animal models of psychopathologies, and in particular of learning, memory and addiction.

Contact Person:

Segev Barak
Faculty: School of Psychological Sciences, Sagol School of Neuroscience

Contact details: barakseg@post.tau.ac.il phone 052-6665102 (please don’t publish my phone in website).

Web Site: https://baraklab.tau.ac.il/






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