I am interested in the molecular and circuit mechanisms of complex behavior and how alterations in synaptic connectivity between neurons lead to the maladaptive features of neuropsychiatric illnesses. Impairments in synaptic pruning are observed in autism spectrum disorders and may contribute to symptoms such as sensory hypersensitivity and social overstimulation. Repeated exposure to drugs of abuse also alters synapses in brain reward regions, and addiction-related synaptic and behavioral changes, similar to learning and memory, require the synthesis, or translation, of proteins in their local vicinity. Together these findings suggest that addiction is promoted and sustained through the coercion of normal plasticity mechanisms. Thus, investigating the function of developmental proteins in the adult brain, with regard to psychiatric and substance-related disorders, may reveal novel therapeutic and preventative strategies.
- McLean Hospital - (Belmont, Massachusetts, United States), Postdoctoral Training 2016
- Harvard Medical School - (Boston, Massachusetts, United States), Postdoctoral Training 2016
- The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center - (Dallas, Texas, United States), Postdoctoral Training 2012
- Ph.D. in Biopsychology, George Mason University - (Fairfax, Virginia, United States) 2008
- M.A. in Biopsychology, George Mason University - (Fairfax, Virginia, United States) 2004
- B.A. in Psychology, Hendrix College - (Conway, Arkansas, United States) 2000
- Penrod, R. D., Thomsen, M., Taniguchi, M., Guo, Y., Cowan, C. W., & Smith, L. N. (2020). The activity-regulated cytoskeleton-associated protein, Arc/Arg3.1, influences mouse cocaine self-administration. Pharmacol Biochem Behav. 188, 172818-172818.
- Penrod, R. D., Kumar, J., Smith, L. N., McCalley, D., Nentwig, T. B., Hughes, B. W., ... Cowan, C. W. (2019). Activity-regulated cytoskeleton-associated protein (Arc/Arg3.1) regulates anxiety- and novelty-related behaviors. Genes Brain Behav. 18(7), e12561.
- Taniguchi, M., Carreira, M. B., Cooper, Y. A., Bobadilla, A., Heinsbroek, J. A., Koike, N., ... Cowan, C. W. (2017). HDAC5 and Its Target Gene, Npas4, Function in the Nucleus Accumbens to Regulate Cocaine-Conditioned Behaviors. NEURON. 96(1), 130-+.
- Smith, L. N., Penrod, R. D., Taniguchi, M., & Cowan, C. W. (2016). Assessment of Cocaine-induced Behavioral Sensitization and Conditioned Place Preference in Mice. Journal of visualized experiments : JoVE. 2016(108), 53107.
- Smith, L. N., Bachus, S. E., McDonald, C. G., & Smith, R. F. (2015). Role of the D3 dopamine receptor in nicotine sensitization. Behav Brain Res. 289, 92-104.
- Patel, R. H., Salem, N. A., Tseng, A. M., Miranda, R. C., & Smith, L. N. (2018). FMR1OS, A NOVEL MAMMALIAN-SPECIFIC LONG NON-CODING RNA IS AN ETHANOL TARGET IN EARLY NEURAL DEVELOPMENT. Alcohol Clin Exp Res. 42, 232A-232A.