Phone: (919) 966-9178
B.A. in Psychology, University of Texas at Austin
M.A. in Biological Psychology, University of Michigan at Ann Arbor
Ph.D. in Neuroscience, University of Texas at Austin
Postdoctoral fellowship in Analytical Chemistry, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Dr. Robinson investigates the neurobiology of alcoholism by using animal models of alcohol reward. Her research targets the dorsal and ventral striata, brain regions that have been shown in humans and animals to be active at alcohol reward and craving or drug-seeking induced by alcohol-related cues. She examines striatal physiology in real time while rats self-administer alcohol: phasic (subsecond) dopamine release is evaluated by using fast-scan cyclic voltammetry, and firing patterns of striatal neurons are evaluated by using electrophysiology at multi-electrode arrays. Together, these approaches reveal the timing of dopamine release and the specificity of neuronal activity at the presentation of alcohol-associated cues, during alcohol-seeking behavior, and at alcohol drinking.
- D.L. Robinson, R.M. Carelli (2008). Distinct subsets of nucleus accumbens neurons encode operant responding for ethanol versus water. European Journal of Neuroscience, 28:1887-1894.
- D.L. Robinson, A. Hermans, A.T. Seipel and R.M. Wightman (2008). Monitoring rapid chemical communication in the brain. Chemical Reviews, 108: 2554-2584.
- D.L. Robinson, T. Voltz, J.O. Schenk and R.M. Wightman (2005). Acute ethanol decreases dopamine transporter velocity in rat striatum: in vivo and in vitro electrochemical measurements. Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research, 29: 746-755.
- D.L. Robinson and R.M. Wightman (2004). Nomifensine amplifies subsecond dopamine signals in the ventral striatum of freely moving rats. Journal of Neurochemistry, 90: 894-903.
- D.L. Robinson, M.L. Heien and R.M. Wightman (2002). Frequency of dopamine concentration transients increases in dorsal and ventral striatum of male rats during introduction of conspecifics. Journal of Neuroscience, 22: 10477-10486.