The Biobehavioral Alcohol Research Laboratory (BARL)
Our research is broadly focused on the cognitive, motivational, and neural processes associated with the self-regulatory problems that are characteristic of externalizing psychopathology, and substance use disorders (primarily Alcohol Use Disorder) more specifically. We are particularly interested in the factors that underlie risky and impulsive decision-making in this population, such as the role of executive working memory, long and short term goals, different types of incentives and disincentives, personality, social context, and brain networks. A key facet of our current work is the investigation of mechanisms by which risky and impulsive decision-making can be modified or improved via training or other experimental manipulations. Another focus of our work in collaboration with Drs Josh Brown (Cognitive Neuroscience) and Leslie Hulvershorn (Psychiatry) is on the neural mechanisms of nicotine addiction and decisions regarding nicotine use. Our laboratory consists of Dr Peter Finn (Principal Investigator), graduate students (Allen Bailey, Lindy Howe, and Polly Ingram), full time staff, Lindsey Fisher (Lab Director), Haley Mayer (Research Technician and Coordinator), and Eli Farmer (Research Technician), part-time staff (Jacqueline Howard) and a large number of undergraduate research assistants and volunteers. The profile page includes information on a number of our key personnel.
Our research is interdisciplinary and involves collaborations with Cognitive Scientists, such as Dr. Thomas Redick at Purdue University, Dr Jerome Busemeyer in Psychological and Brain Sciences at IU, Cognitive Neuroscientists, such as Drs. Joshua Brown and Thomas James and in Psychological and Brain Sciences at IU, and Child Psychiatrists, such as Dr. Leslie Hulvershorn at the Indiana University Medical School. Our research is primarily funded by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, grant #5R01 AA13650. Our collaborative research on nicotine addiction (lead by Dr Josh Brown) is funded by a recent grant from Indiana University Addiction Grand Challenge Program and a grant from the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) R21 DA040773. Our collaborative research in neural processes in decision-making and self-regulation in young adolescents at risk for substance abuse (lead by Dr. Leslie Hulbershorn) is funded by National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) R01 DA039764.