Aaron Ettenberg received his doctorate in Psychopharmacology from McGill University, Montreal, Canada in1980. With support from the Medical Research Council of Canada, he subsequently completed two-years of post-doctoral training in Dr. Floyd Bloom’s Behavioral Neurobiology Laboratory at the Salk Institute in LA Jolla, California, working under the mentorship of Dr. George Koob. Professor Ettenberg came to UCSB in the summer of 1982 where he established the Behavioral Pharmacology Laboratory in the Department of Psychological & Brain sciences. He is an active member of the Neuroscience & Behavior graduate training program and has served as the Vice Chair and Chair of the Department of Psychological & Brain sciences, as well as an Assistant Dean of Undergraduate Studies, the Acting Dean of Undergraduate Studies, and most recently the Acting Provost of the College of Letters & Science. Professor Ettenberg has over 200 published papers, chapters and abstracts on the neurobiology of reinforcement and motivation with particular interest in the neural basis of drug abuse. Professor Ettenberg includes among his professional honors election as a Fellow to both the American Psychological Association and the Association for Psychological Science, recipient of the annual Harold J. Plous Award as Outstanding Assistant Professor at UCSB and the UCSB Distinguished Teaching Award in the Sciences.
Research in Professor Ettenberg's Behavioral Pharmacology Laboratory has focused primarily on the neurobiological substrates underlying reinforced and motivated behaviors. Behavioral, pharmacological and physiological manipulations are combined in attempts to understand the nature of the brain mechanisms subserving the reinforcing effects of food, water, sex and psychoactive drugs. The laboratory has been particularly active in the development and employment of novel behavioral assays that provide a unique approach to the study of drug-behavior interactions. The National Institute of Drug Abuse has funded the most recent work investigating the positive and negative properties of stimulant and opiate drugs in self-administering animals.
- Walker, B.M., and Ettenberg, A. (2005) Intra-Ventral tegmental area heroin-induced place preferences are potentiated by peripherally-administered alprazolam. Pharmacology, Biochemistry and Behavior 82:470-477.
- Ben-Shahar, O., Moscarello, J.M., Jacob, B., Roarty, M.P. and Ettenberg, A. (2005) Prolonged daily exposure to IV cocaine results in tolerance to its stimulant effects. Pharmacology, Biochemistry and Behavior 82:411-416.
- Ben-Shahar, O., Moscarello, J.M., and Ettenberg, A. (2006) One hour, but not 6 hours, of daily access to self-administered cocaine results in elevated levels of the dopamine transporter. Brain Research 1095:148-153.
- Knackstedt, L.A., Ben-Shahar O., and Ettenberg, A. (2006) Alcohol consumption is preferred to water in rats pretreated with intravenous cocaine. Pharmacology, Biochemistry and Behavior 85:281-86.
- Ben-Shahar, O., Keeley, P., Cook, M., Brake, W., Joyce, M., Nyffeler, M., Heston, R., and Ettenberg, A. (2007) Changes in levels of D1, D2 or NMDA receptors during withdrawal from brief or extended daily access to IV cocaine. Brain Research 1131:220-228.
- Guzman, D. and Ettenberg, A. (2007) Runway self-administration of intracerebroventricular cocaine: evidence of mixed positive and negative drug actions. Behavioral Pharmacology 18:53-60.
- Walker, B.M. and Ettenberg, A. (2007) Intraventricular ethanol-induced conditioned place preferences are prevented by fluphenazine infusions into the nucleus accumbens of rats. Behavioral Neuroscience 121:401-410.
- Ettenberg, A. and Bernardi, R.E. (2007) Effects of buspirone on the immediate positive and delayed negative properties of intravenous cocaine as measured in the conditioned place preference test. Pharmacology, Biochemistry and Behavior 87:171-178.
- Cohen, A. and Ettenberg, A. (2007) Motivational effects of nicotine as measured in a runway model of drug self-administration. Behavioral Pharmacology 18:265-271.
- Moscarello, J.M., Ben-Shahar, O.M. and Ettenberg, A. (2007) Dynamic interaction between medial prefrontal cortex and nucleus accumbens as a function of both motivational state and reinforcer magnitude: A c-Fos immunocytochemistry study. Brain Research 1169:69-76.
- Ben-Shahar, O., Posthumus E.J., Waldroup S.A. and Ettenberg, A. (2008) Heightened drug-seeking motivation following extended daily access to self-administered cocaine. Progress in Neuro-Psychopharmacology & Biological Psychiatry 32:863-869.