CURES Seminar: "Methods and Issues in Evaluating the Neurobehavioral Effects of Organic Solvents"

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Date: January 30, 2020
Time: 12:30 p.m. - 1:30 p.m.
Location: Integrative Biosciences Center 1D
Category: Seminar

The Center for Urban Responses to Environmental Stressors (CURES) presents their Thursday afternoon seminar series on January 30, 2020 from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. at the IBio Building in Seminar Room 1D, located at 6135 Woodward Ave.  The seminar is free and open to the entire University community.

The speaker will be Scott Bowen, Ph.D., Professor and Chair of the Department of Psychology at Wayne State University.  Dr. Bowen will present "Methods and Issues in Evaluating the Neurobehavioral Effects of Organic Solvents."

Dr. Bowen received his Bachelors of Arts, Masters of Arts (both in Psychology) along with a Doctorate Degree in Psychology (Psychopharmacology) from the University of Mississippi.  He was a NIDA Postdoctoral Trainee in the Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology at the Virginia Commomwealth University.  Dr. Bowen's research interest include behavioral pharmacology, behavioral toxicology and neurobehavioral teratology.


The abuse of volatile organic solvents (VOCs; inhalants) leads to diverse sequelae at levels ranging from the cell to the whole organism.  This presentation will give an overview of research findings from my lab in which we have used animal models to investigate the behavioral and mechanistic effects of solvent abuse.  The behavioral effects of acute and chronic inhalant abuse include motor impairment, alterations in spontaneous motor activity, anticonvulsant effects, anxiolytic effects, sensory effects, and effects on learning, memory and operant behavior (e.g., response rates and discriminative stimulus effects).  In research with animal models of inhalant abuse, NMDA, GABAA, and dopamine receptors appear to be important targets of action for several abused solvents.  In addition, repeated exposure to these solvents may produce tolerance, dependence and/or sensitization to these effects.  With these results, we are transitioning our lab from studying the abuse of inhaled individual VOCs, especially toluene, to combined exposures to multiple VOCs (esp., benzene + toluene + ethylbenzene + xylene; BTEX) in an environmental model characterized by prolonged (3 hrs/day), persistent (multiple days) exposures to relatively low concentrations (


Christina Cowen




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