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The Neurobiology of Addiction Research Center

The Neuropsychopharmacology Laboratory (SEELAB)


The Neuropsychopharmacology Laboratory of Dr. Ronald E. See

Drug addiction remains one of the most serious social and medical issues facing the United States.  Neuroscientists have been intensively studying the brain pathways that are affected by drugs of abuse, with a particular interest in the pathways that regulate rewarding effects produced by drugs ranging from alcohol to heroin.  While much has been learned about the biological substrates that mediate the immediate rewarding effects of drugs, there is still a lack of understanding of the long-lasting neuroadaptations produced by chronic drug addiction.  Since drug dependence is invariably characterized by multiple relapses, punctuated by periods of abstinence, it is critical to determine the brain processes that drive drug seeking behavior in individuals suffering from addiction. 

In our laboratory, we have developed a variety of animal models of relapse to drugs of abuse in order to determine the neural pathways that underlie relapse.  Among the critical factors under investigation, we have active research focused on the environmental cues associated with drug-taking and their role in relapse, the impact of stress on relapse, cognitive dysfunctions produced by drugs and their relationship to addiction, and the role of sex differences and hormonal regulation of drug-seeking behavior.  The discoveries of the fundamental behavioral and neural substrates of relapse help direct our ongoing development of interventions for the attenuation of craving and relapse, with the ultimate goal of successful pharmacotherapies for the treatment of drug abuse and dependence.

We invite you to explore our website for further information.

Ronald E. See, Ph.D.

Department of Neurosciences
173 Ashley Avenue
Suite 416B BSB
Charleston, SC 29425
Phone: (843) 792-2487


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