Joshua M Gulley

Section 1

Program Area: Behavioral Neuroscience

Associate Professor of Psychology

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Contact Information:


  • Addiction
  • Drugs of abuse
  • Plasticity
  • Motivation
  • Neuroscience
  • Cognition

Research Description

Dr. Gulley's laboratory studies the neurobiological and behavioral consequences of repeated exposure to psychoactive drugs such as amphetamine, cocaine and alcohol. In addition, they investigate the mechanisms of age-related cognitive decline and the use of nutritional supplementation to mitigate that decline. Examples of current research questions addressed by the lab include (1)Are adolescents, compared to adults, more sensitive to drug-induced changes in neural function and behavior?  (2) Are there more adverse consequences when drug exposure occurs early in life and are there age-dependent differences in drug-induced neuroadaptations?  (3) Can nutritional supplements serve to enhance cognition and/or delay cognitive declines associated with normal aging?

In the lab, Dr. Gulley and his students use behavioral and physiological methods of analysis, both alone and in combination. For behavior, they study drug responses using operant self-administration, conditioned place preference, drug discrimination, and behavioral sensitization techniques. They also use operant food-reinforced responding to assess cognitive behaviors, including impulsivity, behavioral flexibility, attention, and working memory. Physiological measure include in vivo multiple neuron electrophysiology, which allows for the recording of the activity of a large number of brain cells as animals are actively behaving, in vitro electrophysiology, immunohistochemistry, gel electrophoresis, and immunoblotting techniques.


  • B.S. from the University of Iowa
  • Ph.D. from Indiana University


  • Mechanisms of amphetamine-induced plasticity in adolescents compared to adults (R01 DA029815)
  • Neural mechanisms of nutrient-induced cognitive enhancement (AN ZA70)


  • PSYC 210: Behavioral Neuroscience
  • PSYC 413: Psychopharmacology
  • PSYC 593: Behavioral Neuroscience of Drug Addiction (Seminar)
  • PSYC 593: Behavioral Neuroscience of Adolescence (Seminar)

Recent Publications

Kang S, Wu MM, Galvez R, Gulley JM (2016). Timing of amphetamine exposure in relation to puberty onset determines its effects on anhedonia, exploratory behavior, and dopamine D1 receptor expression in young adulthood. Neuroscience, 339:72-84.

Paul K*, Kang S*, Cox CL, Gulley JM (2016). Repeated exposure to amphetamine during adolescence alters inhibitory tone in the medial prefrontal cortex following drug re-exposure in adulthood. Behavioral Brain Research, 309:9-13. (*co-first author)

Kang S*, Paul K*, Hankosky ER, Cox CL, Gulley JM (2016). D1 receptor-mediated inhibition of medial prefrontal cortex neurons is disrupted in adult rats exposed to amphetamine in adolescence. Neuroscience, 324:40-49. (*co-first author)

Hankosky ER, Sherrill LK, Ruvola LA, Haake RM, Kim T, Hammerslag LR, Kougias DG, Juraska JM, Gulley JM (2016). Effects of β-hydroxy-β-methyl butyrate (HMB) on working memory and cognitive flexibility in an animal model of aging. Nutritional Neuroscience, ePub ahead of print [Feb 19, 2016]

Hammerslag LR, Gulley JM (2016). Sex differences in behavior and neural development and their role in adolescent vulnerability to substance use. Behavioral Brain Research, 298:15-26.

Section 2


Facilities Information

Building Remodeling Projects

Click on the title to check out these pictures from the classroom remodeling project in the basement. A second project to replace the elevators will begin in September. Beginning with the freight elevator, each elevator will be out of service for three months. To get quickly from one floor to another, and improve your fitness, we will encourage the use of the stairs. The repainting of the northeast stairwell has been completed, and the painter is starting on the southwest stairwell.