Peter J. Winsauer, PhD

Behavioral Pharmacology Laboratory


Research Interest

Current research projects include studies on the behavioral pharmacology of serotonin receptor subtype agonists and antagonists. Specific interests include the effects of 5HT1A agonists on learning and memory processes and the effects of 5HT1A agonists and 5HT3 antagonists on measures of food intake. In general, the behavioral effects of these serotonin drugs are compared with the effects of drugs from other pharmacological classes such as the benzodiazepines. A wide range of behavioral procedures is used to assess the effects of all the compounds in question. For example, complex operant procedures are used to assess the ability of various drugs to disrupt learning. These disruptions are then directly compared with the same drug's ability to disrupt more well-learned information or performance. Previous research interests include neurotoxicology and the behavioral effects of ionizing radiation. Studies in these areas identified radiation-induced behavioral changes in learning or acquistion behavior, determined how behavioral and environmental variables could modify these changes, and evaluated radiobiological and pharmacological factors that mediate or modulate these changes.


Currently Funded Research

National Institute on Drug Abuse: Cocaine Self-Administration in Monkeys: Effects on Learning, Principal Investigator

National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism: Alcohol, HIV Infection and Host Defense, Co-Investigator

National Institute on Drug Abuse: Effects of Cannabinoid Abuse on Learning and Memory, Co-Investigator


Selected Publications

Winsauer, P. J., Rodriguez, F. H., Cha, A. E. and Moerschbaecher, J. M.: Full and partial 5-HT1A receptor agonists disrupt learning and performance in rats. The Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics, 288: 335-347, 1999.

Krowicki, Z.K., J.M. Moerschbaecher, P.J. Winsauer, S.V. Digavalli and P.J. Hornby: D9-Tetrahydrocannabinol inhibits gastric motility in the rat through cannabinoid CB1 receptors. Eur. J. Pharmacol. 371: 187-196, 1999.

Winsauer, P. J., Lambert, P. and Moerschbaecher, J. M.: Cannabinoid ligands and their effects on learning and performance in rhesus monkeys. Behav Pharmacol. 10:497-511, 1999

Winsauer, P. J., Silvester, K. R., Moerschbaecher, J. M. and France, C. P.: Cocaine self-administration in monkeys: effects on the acquisition and performance of response sequences. Drug Alcohol Depend. 59:51-61, 2000.

Nakamura-Palacios, E. E., Winsauer, P. J. and Moerschbaecher, J. M. Effects of the cannabinoid ligand SR 141716A alone or in combination with delta9-tetrahydrocannabinol or scopolamine on learning in squirrel monkeys. Behav Pharmacol. 11:377-86, 2000.

Winsauer, P. J. and Moerschbaecher, J. M.: Differential effects of 5-HT agonists and antagonists on the repeated acquisition and performance of response sequences in monkeys. Behavioural Pharmacology, 11: 535-553, 2000.

Winsauer, P. J., McCann, U. D., Yuan, J., Delatte, M. S., Stevenson, M. W., Ricaurte, G. A. and Moerschbaecher, J. M.: Effects of fenfluramine, m-CPP and triazolam on repeated acquisition in squirrel monkeys before and after neurotoxic MDMA admininstration. Psychopharmacology (in press).

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