Katherine Hughes is interested in how psychopharmacological variables contribute to the formation of drug addiction and its subsequent treatment. Currently, she is assessing the cognitive deficits associated with the brain damage known to occur with MDMA (Ecstasy) drug use in humans. The effects in recreational and chronic drug users are also being compared. The effects of polydrug (amphetamine, cocaine, alcohol, heroin) use on these proposed deficits will also be examined. Most MDMA drug users are unaware of the negative effects that may persist long after the drug has cleared their body. Future studies would involve tracking drug taking behavior in subjects who have experienced these deficits during an experimental manipulation. She is also interested in the role of behavioral contingencies and personal motivation in the treatment of drug addiction.
Wolgin, D.L. & Hughes, K.M. (2001). Long term retention of tolerance to amphetamine hypophagia following cessation of drug injections and feeding tests. Pharmacology Biochemistry & Behavior, 70, 367-373.
Hughes, K. M., Popi, L. & Wolgin, D. L. (1999). Loss of tolerance to amphetamine-induced hypophagia in rats: Homeostatic readjustment vs. instrumental learning. Pharmacology, Biochemistry and Behavior, 64, 177-182.
Hughes, K. M., Popi, L. & Wolgin, D. L. (1998). Experiential constraints on the development of tolerance to amphetamine hypophagia following sensitization of stereotypy: Instrumental contingencies regulate the expression of sensitization. Psychopharmacology, 140, 445-449.