Alexis Thompson


Alexis Thompson.

Alexis Thompson


Alexis Thompson


Research Interests

Substance abuse; maternal behavior; pain behavior

Contact Information

355 Park Hall

Buffalo NY, 14260-4110

Phone: 716-887-2243


  • PhD, University at Buffalo, SUNY


My teaching interests lie in the study and understanding of complex behaviors and the contribution of internal and external stimuli in the expression of those behaviors. My perspective in psychology follows from the theories and models of behavioral neuroscience and comparative psychology. I regularly teach undergraduate courses in Introductory Psychology, Introduction to Substance Use and Abuse, Scientific Inquiry, Advance Research Methods and more recently, Psychopharmacology and Freshman Seminar ("Mind and Brain"). Less frequently taught courses include special topics courses in pain and analgesia, psychoneurochemistry, biological theories of addiction, and the biological bases of social behaviors.

My research focuses on neural mechanisms that underlie the behavior and behavioral adaptations associated with substance abuse, maternal behavior, and pain behavior. More specifically, I have been studying the role of neuropeptide Y, a neurotransmitter in the brain, in motivation to seek and take cocaine that persists even after long periods of abstinence and the role of endogenous opioid neurotransmission during the birthing process to reduce pain behavior and facilitate maternal behavior.

Selected Publications

  • Thompson, A. C., Feeney, C., & Kristal, M. B. (2018). Amniotic-fluid ingestion enhances DPDPE-induced hypoalgesia using repeated measures in the cold-water tail-flick assay in rats. Brain Research, 1697, 53-58.
  • Shen, S., Jiang, X., Li, J., Staudinger, R. M., Suarez, M., Tu, C., Duan, X-T., Thompson, A. C., & Qu, J. (2016). Large-Scale, ion-current-based proteomic investigation of the rat striatal proteome in a model of short-and long-term cocaine withdrawal. Journal of Proteome Research, 15(5), 1702-1716.
  • Neumann, A. Hoey, R. F., Daigler, L. B., Thompson, A. C., & Kristal, M. B. (2009). Ingestion of amniotic fluid enhances the facilitative effect of VTA morphine on the onset of maternal behavior in virgin rats. Brain Research, 1261, 29-36.
  • DiPirro, J. M., Thompson, A.C., Suarez, M., & Leo, R., (2011). Low doses of risperidone and morphine interact to produce more analgesia and greater extrapyramidal effects in rats. Neuroscience Letters, 490, 21-6.
  • Shippenberg, T. S., Chefer, V. I. and Thompson, A. C. (2009). Delta-opioid receptor antagonists prevent sensitization to the conditioned rewarding effects of morphine. Biological Psychiatry, 65,169-74.
  • Thompson, A. C., Kristal, M. B., Sallaj, A., Acheson, A., Martin, L. B. E., & Martin, T. (2004). Analgesic efficacy of orally administered buprenorphine in rats: Methodological considerations. Comparative Medicine, 54, 293-300.
  • Thompson, A. C., DiPirro, J. M., Sylvester, A. S., Martin, L. B. E., & Kristal, M. B. (2006). Lack of analgesic efficacy in female rats of the commonly recommended dose of oral buprenorphine. Journal of the American Association for Laboratory Animal Sciences, 45, 13-16.
  • Thompson, A. C., Zapata, A. Justice, J. B., Jr., Vaughan, R. A., Sharpe, L. G. & Shippenberg, T. S. (2000). Kappa-opioid receptor activation modifies dopamine uptake in the nucleus accumbens and opposes the effects of cocaine. Journal of Neuroscience, 20, 9333-9340.
  • Thompson, A. C. & Kristal, M. B. (1996). Opioid stimulation in the ventral tegmental area facilitates the onset of maternal behavior in rats. Brain Research, 743, 184-201.
  • Thompson, A. C., Justice, J. B., Jr., & McDonald, J. K. (1995). Quantitative microdialysis of neuropeptide Y. Journal of Neuroscience Methods, 60, 189-198.
  • Kristal, M. B., Thompson, A. C., Abbott, P., DiPirro, J. M., Ferguson, E. J., & Doerr J. C. (1990). Amniotic fluid ingestion by parturient rats enhances pregnancy mediated analgesia. Life Sciences, 46, 693-698.