Joshua M Gulley

Section 1

Division: Behavioral Neuroscience

Associate Professor of Psychology

User Photo

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

Gulley JM, Stanis JJ (2010). Adaptations in medial prefrontal cortex function associated with amphetamine-induced behavioral sensitization. Neuroscience, Epub 2009 Dec 23 (

Hall DA, Stanis JJ, Avila HM, Gulley JM (2008). A comparison of amphetamine- and methamphetamine-induced locomotor activity in rats: evidence for qualitative differences in behavior. Psychopharmacology, 195:469-78. Epub 2007 Sep 17. (

Klein DA, Gulley JM (2009). Reduced sensitivity to the locomotor-stimulant effects of cocaine is associated with increased sensitivity to its discriminative stimulus properties. Behavioural Pharmacology, 20:67-77. Epub 2009 Jan 2 (

Sherrill LK, Koss WA, Foreman ES, Gulley JM (2010).The effects of pre-pubertal gonadectomy and binge-like ethanol exposure during adolescence on ethanol drinking in adult male and female rats. Behavioural Brain Research, Epub 2010 Sep 10 (

Stanis JJ, Burns RM, Sherrill LK, Gulley JM (2008). Disparate cocaine-induced locomotion as a predictor of choice behavior in rats trained in a delay-discounting task. Drug and Alcohol Dependence. 98:54-62. Epub 2008 June 6. (

Section 2


Facilities Information

All-Gender ADA Accessible Restroom

The Psychology Department is very pleased to announce that an all-gender, ADA accessible, family-friendly restroom has been built on the first floor next to the elevators. The department partnered with F&S to construct this new restroom, which is now available to use. Please note that there is an indicator on the door showing whether the restroom is available or in use. Be sure to lock the door while using the restroom, and unlock the door before leaving.