Our lab is located within the Cofrin Logan Center for Addiction Research & Treatment at the University of Kansas (visit website). The CLC serves as a hub for research, training, education, and outreach on addictions at KU and affiliated institutions. Researchers at the CLC seek to understand, prevent, and treat addiction and related disorders, promote health and improved quality of life, and reduce stigma. Located on the 3rd floor of the Dole Human Development Center on the KU Lawrence campus, the CLC has extensive space to support research, including private testing and interview rooms, data analysis workstations, faculty offices, conference rooms, and office space for trainees to work on their research and academics. The CLC is also home to the simulated bar laboratory for conducting state-of-the-art alcohol research in a naturalistic drinking environment. See below for more information on how we use the bar lab in our research.
The CLC is home to a simulated bar laboratory. Researchers in the Addictions Lab @ KU use the bar lab for conducting alcohol cue exposures, self-administration protocols, and other studies examining drinking behaviors in a naturalistic drinking environment. The bar lab is equipped with a large assortment of alcohol bottles (beer, liquor, wine), glassware, drink mixing accessories, alcohol-themed artwork, and soft lighting. The bar lab will also feature a closed-circuit video system for monitoring participant behavior during testing sessions. Adjacent to the bar lab is a neutral cues room, which is used for neutral beverage cue exposures (e.g., water cues). These two rooms are generally similar in size and lighting, but differ in terms of the theme of the decor (alcohol stimuli in the bar lab, neutral stimuli in the neutral cues room). By testing participants in both rooms, we are able to examine the effects of alcohol-related environmental cues relative to neutral cues.
The Hoglund Biomedical Imaging Center (HBIC) occupies a free-standing 11,500 square foot research-based imaging facility on the KUMC campus in Kansas City. The HBIC provides outstanding imaging capabilities, including magnetic resonance imaging, magnetoencephalolgraphy, electroencephalography, magnetocardiography, and ultrasound, to complement the existing biomedical research community at KUMC and nearby universities. The HBIC is home to a research-dedicated 3 Tesla Siemens Skyra Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) system.
The Addictions Lab @ KU is home to a suite of iMac workstations and required software (e.g., AFNI, SPM, FreeSurfer) for analysis of fMRI and structural MRI data.
The Addictions Lab @ KU and Dr. Amlung are affiliated with the Peter Boris Centre for Addictions Research (PBCAR) at McMaster University. Located within the West 5th Campus of St. Joseph's Healthcare Hamilton, the PBCAR has over 3000 square feet of research space, including private assessment rooms, a bar lab, kitchenette, student offices, RA workstations, and a conference room for lab meetings. The west 5th campus of SJHH is a $1 billion state-of-the-art psychiatric hospital and research facility that opened in 2014. The PBCAR has an array of sophisticated equipment to support our projects, including tablets and computers for conducting assessments, breathalyzers, smokerlyzers, physiological monitors, neuropsychological tests, and software programs for computerized assessments.
A portion of our RES-CUE study (funded by an R01 grant from NIAAA) is being conducted at the Imaging Research Centre (IRC) at SJHH, which is home to a research-dedicated 3-Tesla MRI scanner and a positron emission tomography (PET) scanner. The IRC has state-of-the-art equipment for conducting functional MRI studies, including a MRI-compatible stimulus presentation system with E-Prime and Presentation software, response boxes, and an audio-visual patient monitoring system. We are also conducting our Intracortical Myelin study (funded by an R21 grant from NIAAA) at the IRC.
The Addiction Lab @ KU also utilizes the PBCAR's non-invasive brain stimulation technology. During his time at McMaster, Dr. Amlung and his colleagues established the neuromodulation lab in the PBCAR and organized a working group of faculty, clinicians, and trainees who are interested in brain stimulation. The lab recently conducted a pilot study using a type of neuromodulatory equipment called Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation (or tDCS). TDCS uses a battery-operated device to deliver low-intensity electrical currents to the scalp in order to enhance neural processing in cortical brain regions. Under the direction of Dr. Amlung and PhD student Herry Patel, we are investigating the effects of tDCS stimulation over the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex on risk-taking behaviors in people who use cannabis compared to matched control participants who do not use cannabis. We hope to continue to use this technology to examine the effects of neuromodulation of prefrontal cortex on craving and self-control in individuals with addictive disorders.
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Addictions Lab @ KU - Dr. Michael Amlung, Lab Director
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