Sara Jo Nixon is Professor of Psychiatry and Psychology, Co-Vice Chair, Department of Psychiatry, Chief of Addiction Research, Director of the CTSI Biobehavioral Core and of the Neurocognitive Laboratory, all at the University of Florida. She has over 125 peer-reviewed articles and book chapters and has edited two books. She has made hundreds of scientific presentations and holds research awards from private, state and national sources: National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, National Institute on Drug Abuse, Department of Veterans Affairs, and more. She is Past President of the Research Society on Alcoholism and the Society of Addiction Psychology.


Drawing on her own as well as others’ work, the author will provide an overview of current research addressing dysregulation and impairment in neurobehavioral systems associated with chronic substance abuse. Within this discussion, she will present provocative data regarding a common comorbidity among treatment-seekers, nicotine dependence and examine its acute and chronic effects. As a part of this overview, she will explore a critical, but understudied, component of neurobehavior, emotional processing; describing developing work designed to concurrently explore the two domains. Finally, the author will discuss developing treatment interventions applying our understanding of these deficits to enhance treatment compliance and long-term outcome.

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