Michael Taffe, PhD

Michael Taffe, PhD

Associate Professor


Contact Information

Committee on the Neurobiology of Addictive Disorders, SP30-2400
The Scripps Research Institute, 10550 North Torrey Pines Road
La Jolla, CA 92037
Office: 858-784-7228
Fax: 858-784-7405
Email: mtaffe@scripps.edu  
Lab Website: www.scripps.edu/taffe/ 

Research in the Primate Neurobehavioral Laboratory focuses on brain substrates which subserve cognitive function and complex behavior. Ongoing efforts in the laboratory study the etiology of cognitive dysfunction associated with exposure to recreationally abused drugs including MDMA, cannabis and alcohol.

Individuals who chronically ingest recreational drugs exhibit a number of cognitive and behavioral impairments. Conclusive linking of such behavioral problems to a specific drug or pattern of intake is complicated by the fact that most drug users have substantial rates of exposure to multiple drugs of abuse. In particular exposure to alcohol, delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and nicotine is common in users of most other drugs. Furthermore, it is impossible to demonstrate that cognitive performance levels in recreational users are not merely a reflection of pre-existing group differences. Thus animal models are necessary to identify a causal relationship between a specific pattern of drug exposure and behavioral or cognitive impairment. Current projects in the laboratory focus on the lasting cognitive, physiological and neurochemical effects of exposure to CNS-altering regimens of 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA, or "Ecstasy"), chronic alcohol drinking or chronic THC exposure in adolescent animals.

Katner, S.N., Flynn, C.T., Von Huben, S.N., Kirsten, A.J., Davis, S.A., Lay, C.C., Cole, M., Roberts, A.J., Fox, H.S. and Taffe M.A. Controlled and behaviorally relevant levels of oral ethanol intake in rhesus macaques using a flavorant-fade procedure, Alcohol Clin Exp Res, 2004 Jun;28(6):873-883. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/

Katner, S.N., Davis, S.A., Kirsten, A.J. and Taffe, M.A.. Effects of nicotine and mecamylamine on cognition in macaques, Psychopharmacology, 2004, 175(2):225-240. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/

Crean, R.D., Davis, S.A., Von Huben, S.N., Lay, C.C., Katner, S.N. and Taffe, M.A. Effects of (±)3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine, (±)3,4-methylenedioxyamphetamine and methamphetamine on temperature and activity in rhesus macaques, Neuroscience, 2006, 142(2):515-525. Epub 2006 Jul 28. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/

Von Huben, S.N., Davis, Lay, C.C., S.A., Katner, S.N. Crean, R.D. and Taffe, M.A. Differential contributions of dopaminergic D1-like and D2-like receptors to cognitive function in rhesus monkeys, Psychopharmacology, 2006, 188(4):586-596. Epub 2006 Mar 15. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/

Von Huben, S.N., Lay, C.C.,Crean, R.D., Davis, S.A., Katner, S.N. and Taffe, M.A. Impact of ambient temperature on hyperthermia induced by (±)3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine in rhesus macaques, Neuropsychopharmacology, 2007, 32(3): 673-681. Epub 2006 12 Apr. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/

Katner, S.N., Von Huben, S.N., Davis, S.A., Lay, C.C., Crean, R.D., Roberts, A.J., Fox, H.S. and Taffe M.A. Robust and stable drinking behavior following long-term oral alcohol intake in rhesus monkeys, Drug Alcohol Depend, 91(2-3): 236-243. Epub 2007 Jul 10. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/

Crean, R.D., Davis, S.A. and Taffe, M.A. Oral administration of (±)3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine and (+)methamphetamine alters temperature and activity in rhesus macaques, 2007, Pharmacol Biochem Behav, 87(1): 11-19. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/