Oberlin Lab

Under the direction of Brandon Oberlin, PhD, the Oberlin Lab focuses on the range of addiction development, including risk factors, maintenance and progression, and recovery and relapse prevention. Currently, the lab is researching unhealthy decision-making, behavioral traits linked to addiction/ alcoholism disorders and brain activation governing those behaviors. The lab utilizes neuroimaging (fMRI) to better understand brain systems underlying addiction, laboratory behavioral tasks to measure behavior and digital visualization methods for relapse prevention. With goals in improving addiction treatment, the lab’s collaboration with experts from IU School of Medicine and IUPUI targets behavioral risk factors, executive/attentional brain systems, dopamine motivational circuits and the use of controlled alcohol administration.

How To Participate

Interested candidates are encouraged to sign up for participation in an Oberlin lab study. Participants will receive a call within two business days to complete a brief phone interview. The lab is seeking participants who drink alcohol and are between the ages of 21 and 45.

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Active Research

Neuroimaging and Choice Behavior

This active research is a one-day magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) study involving choices about money and other scenarios. Participants will be compensated $210 for study completion, with the opportunity for additional payment during the day of study. This study takes place on weekdays at Goodman Hall in the IU Health Neuroscience Center.

Research Funding

National Institute of Health

National Institute on Alcohol abuse and Alcoholism

  • 2016

    Charpentier J, Dzemidzic M, West J, Oberlin BG, Eiler WJ, Saykin AJ, Kareken DA. Externalizing personality traits, empathy, and gray matter volume in healthy young drinkers. Psychiatry Research: Neuroimaging. 2016 Feb 28;248:64-72.

    Oberlin BG, Dzemidzic M, Harezlak J, Kudela MA, Tran SM, Soeurt CM, Yoder KK, Kareken DA. Corticostriatal and dopaminergic response to beer flavor with both fMRI and [11C] raclopride Positron Emission Tomography. Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research. 2016 Sep 1;40(9):1865-73.

  • 2015
    Oberlin BG, Albrecht DS, Herring CM, Walters JW, Hile KL, Kareken DA, Yoder KK (2015) Monetary discounting and ventral striatal dopamine receptor availability in nontreatment-seeking alcoholics and social drinkers. Psychopharmacology 232(12): 2207-16.

    Weafer J, Džemidžic M, Eiler II WJA, Oberlin BG, Wang Y, Kareken DA (2015). Associations between regional brain physiology and trait impulsivity, motor inhibition, and impaired control over drinking. Psychiatry Research: Neuroimaging.

  • 2014
    Oberlin BG, Džemidžic M, Tran SM, Soeurt CM, O’Connor SJ, Yoder KK, Kareken DA (2014) Beer self-administration provokes lateralized nucleus accumbens dopamine release in male heavy drinkers. Psychopharmacology 232(5): 861-70.

  • 2013
    Kareken DA, Džemidžic M, Oberlin BG, Eiler II WJA (2013) A Preliminary Study of the Human Brain Response to Oral Sucrose and its Association with Recent Drinking. Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research 37(12): 2058-65.

    Kareken DA, Džemidžic M, Wetherill M, Eiler II W, Oberlin BG, Harezlak J, Wang J, O’Connor SJ (2013)  Family history of alcoholism interacts with alcohol to affect brain regions involved in behavioral inhibition. Psychopharmacology 228(2): 335-45.

    Oberlin BG, Džemidžic M, Tran SM, Soeurt CM, Albrecht DS, Yoder KK, Kareken DA (2013) Striatal dopamine release in response to beer flavor: mediation by family history of alcoholism. Neuropsychopharmacology 38(9): 1617-24.

  • 2012
    Schulte T, Oberlin BG, Kareken DA, Marinkovic K, Müller-Oehring EM, Meyerhoff DJ, Tapert S (2012) How Acute and Chronic Alcohol Consumption affects Brain Networks: Insights from Multimodal Neuroimaging. Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research 36(12): 2017-27.

    Oberlin BG, Džemidžic M, Bragulat V, Lehigh CA, Talavage T, O’Connor SJ, Kareken DA (2012) Limbic responses to reward cues correlate with antisocial trait density in heavy drinkers. NeuroImage 60(1) 644-52.

  • 2011
    Oberlin BG, Best C, Matson L, Henderson A, Grahame N (2011) Derivation and characterization of replicate high- and low- alcohol preferring lines of mice and a high-drinking crossed HAP line. Behavior Genetics 41(2): 288-302.
  • 2010
    Oberlin BG, Bristow RE, Heighton ME, Grahame NJ (2010) Pharmacologic dissociation between impulsivity and alcohol drinking in High Alcohol Preferring mice. Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research 34(8): 1363-75.
  • 2009
    Fidler TL, Oberlin BG, Struthers AM, Cunningham CL (2009) Schedule of passive ethanol exposure affects subsequent intragastric ethanol self-infusion.  Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research 33(11): 1909-23.

    Oberlin BG, Grahame NJ (2009) High alcohol preferring mice are more impulsive than low alcohol preferring mice as measured in the delay discounting task. Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research 33(7):1-10.

Faculty Research Team

Mario Dzemidzic, PhD

Associate Research Professor of Neurology

Additional Research Team Members

Research technician and lab manager, Yitong Iris Shen.