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Psychopharmacology | Lab Members

Anthony L. Riley, PhD

Faculty Profile

Curriculum Vitae


My main interests at American University are in research and teaching.

My research focuses primarily on animal models of drug addiction.

My teaching focuses on basic neuroscience. Over the years, I have developed a variety of classes, including Psychology as a Natural Science, Drugs and Behavior, The Evolution of Behavior, Neuropharmacology and Neuroscience Seminars.

Psychopharmacology Laboratory: My laboratory explores both the genetic and epigenetic basis of drug intake, prenatal drug exposure, drug interactions and the interaction of the reinforcing and aversive effects underlying drug acceptability. Students entering the lab immediately become immersed in research and develop his/her own specialty area of interest. Through seminars, foundation courses, tools and research rotations, students can strengthen this focus and develop a specialty area in drug use and abuse.

One recurring theme in my academic and research interests has been in animal food aversions and preferences. Beginning in the early 70's, I began examining the basis for specific choices in food consumption in animals, primarily that mediating the avoidance of foods associated with toxicity. I have continued this interest over the past three decades, examining how such learned behavior might be used in behavioral assays of drug toxicity, subjective responses to drugs and drug use and abuse. These areas (among many others) are indexed in a recent database that we have placed on the web at

    Anthony L. Riley