Jennifer Murray

Research Assistant Professor Psychology
Dr. Murray received her PhD at UNL in 2009 investigating cue competition between interoceptive and exteroceptive stimuli in the Behavioral Neuropharmacology Laboratory. She then joined the Behavioural and Clinical Neuroscience Institute and the Department of Psychology at the University of Cambridge in the UK as a Research Associate then Senior Research Associate where her work centered on manipulating and mapping the brain circuitry responsible for a transition from casual, goal-directed, drug use to compulsive drug-seeking habits. Whilst there, she was appointed an Affiliated Lecturer of the University of Cambridge and elected a Fellow of Murray Edwards College and Director of Studies for their Psychology students. She returned to UNL in 2016 as a Research Assistant Professor.

Drugs of abuse have the power to alter our behaviors and shift our priorities.  My research experience, broadly stated, revolves around investigating how these effects emerge, and my interests extend to pharmacological and psychological interventions with the purpose of promoting rehabilitation of compulsive drug-seeking behaviors.

  • Jupp B1, Murray JE1, Jordan ER1, Xia J, Fluharty M, Shrestha S, Robbins TW, Dalley JW (2016) Social dominance in rats predicts cocaine self-administration, novelty reactivity and altered dopamine receptor binding and content in the striatum. Psychopharmacology, 233:579-589.
  • Murray JE1, Belin-Rauscent A1, Simon M, Giuliano C, Benoît-Marand M, Everitt BJ, Belin D (2015) Basolateral and central amygdala differentially recruit and maintain dorsolateral striatum-dependent cocaine-seeking habits. Nature Communications, 6:10088.
  • Ducret E, Puaud M, Lacoste J, Dugast E, Belin-Rauscent A, Murray JE, Everitt BJ, Houeto J-L, Belin D (in press) N-acetylcysteine facilitates self-imposed abstinence after escalation of cocaine intake. Biological Psychiatry.
  • Pelloux Y, Murray JE, Everitt BJ (2015) Differential vulnerability to the punishment of cocaine related behaviors: effects of locus of punishment, cocaine taking history and alternative reinforce availability. Psychopharmacology, 232:125-134.
  • Murray JE, Dilleen RM, Pelloux Y, Economidou D, Dalley JW, Belin D, Everitt BJ (2014) Increased impulsivity retards the transition to dorsolateral striatal dopamine control of cocaine seeking. Biological Psychiatry, 76:15-22.
  • Belin D, Belin-Rauscent A, Murray JE, Everitt BJ (2013) Addictions: failure in control over maladaptive incentive habits. Current Opinion in Neurobiology, 23:564-572.
  • Pelloux Y, Murray JE, Everitt BJ (2013) Differential roles of the prefrontal cortical subregions and basolateral amygdala in compulsive cocaine seeking and relapse after voluntary abstinence in rats. European Journal of Neuroscience, 38:3018-3026.
  • Fernando ABP, Murray JE, Milton AL (2013) The amygdala: Securing pleasure and avoiding pain. Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience, 7:190.
  •  Murray JE, Belin D, Everitt BJ (2012) Double dissociation of the dorsomedial and dorsolateral striatal control over the acquisition and performance of cocaine seeking. Neuropsychopharmacology, 37:2456-2466.
  • Murray JE, Everitt BJ, Belin D (2012) N-Acetylcysteine reduces early and late-stage cocaine seeking without affecting cocaine taking in rats. Addiction Biology, 17:437-440.
  • Murray JE, Walker AW, Li C, Wells NR, Penrod RD, Bevins RA (2011) Nicotine trained as a negative feature passes the retardation-of-acquisition and summation tests of a conditioned inhibitor. Learning & Memory, 18:452-458.
  • Murray JE, Bevins RA (2011) Excitatory conditioning to the interoceptive nicotine stimulus blocks subsequent conditioning to an exteroceptive light stimulus. Behavioural Brain Research, 221:314-319.
  • Murray JE, Walker AW, Polewan RJ, Bevins RA (2011) An examination of NMDA receptor contribution to conditioned responding evoked by the conditional stimulus effects of nicotine. Psychopharmacology, 213:131-141.
  • Murray JE, Wells NR, Bevins RA (2011) Nicotine competes with a visual stimulus for control of conditioned responding. Addiction Biology, 16:152-162.
  • Murray JE, Bevins RA (2010) Cannabinoid conditioned reward and aversion: behavioral and neural processes. ACS Chemical Neuroscience, 1:265-278.
  • Reichel CM, Murray JE, Barr JD, Bevins RA (2010) Extinction with varenicline and nornicotine, but not ABT-418, weakens conditioned responding evoked by the interoceptive stimulus effects of nicotine. Neuropharmacology, 58:1237-1245.
  • Duryee MJ, Bevins RA, Reichel CM, Murray JE, Dong Y, Thiele GM, Sanderson SD (2009) Immune responses to methamphetamine by active immunization with peptide-based, molecular adjuvant-containing vaccines. Vaccine, 27:2981-2988.  
  • Murray JE, Bevins RA (2009) Acquired appetitive responding to intravenous nicotine reflects a Pavlovian conditioned association. Behavioral Neuroscience, 123:97-108.
  • Murray JE, Penrod RD, Bevins RA (2009) Nicotine-evoked conditioned responding is dependent on concentration of sucrose unconditioned stimulus. Behavioural Processes, 81:136-139. 
  • Murray JE, Wells NR, Lyford GD, Bevins RA (2009) Investigation of endocannabinoid modulation of conditioned responding evoked by a nicotine CS and the Pavlovian stimulus effects of CP 55,940 in adult male rats. Psychopharmacology, 205:655-665.
  • Reichel CM, Murray JE, Grant KM, Bevins RA. (2009) Bupropion attenuates methamphetamine self-administration in adult male rats. Drug and Alcohol Dependence, 100:52-62.
  • Murray JE, Bevins RA (2007) Behavioral and neuropharmacological characterization of nicotine as a conditional stimulus. European Journal of Pharmacology, 561:91-104.
  • Murray JE, Bevins RA (2007) The conditional stimulus effects of nicotine vary as a function of training dose. Behavioural Pharmacology, 18(8):707-716.
  • Murray JE, Li C, Palmatier MI, Bevins RA (2007) The interoceptive Pavlovian stimulus effects of caffeine. Pharmacology, Biochemistry and Behavior, 86:838-846.
  • Wilkinson JL, Murray JE, Li C, Wiltgen SM, Penrod RD, Berg SA, Bevins RA (2006) Interoceptive Pavlovian conditioning with nicotine as the conditional stimulus varies as function of number of conditioning trials and unpaired sucrose deliveries. Behavioural Pharmacology, 17:161-172.
  • Briner W, Murray J (2005) Effects of short-term and long-term depleted uranium exposure on open-field behavior and brain lipid oxidation in rats. Neurotoxicology and Teratology, 27:135-144.

(* denotes non-peer reviewed)

  • Murray JE, Lacoste J, Belin D (2012) N-Acetylcysteine as a treatment for addiction. In: D Belin (Ed.) Addictions – From Pathophysiology to Treatment, InTech (pp.355-380).
  • Murray JE, Polewan RJ, Bevins RA (2012) Rethinking the nicotine stimulus. In: JE Murray (Ed.) Exposure Therapy: New Developments, Hauppauge, NY: Nova Science Publishers, Inc (pp. 95-120).
  • Bevins RA & Murray JE (2011) Internal stimuli generated by abused substances: Role of Pavlovian conditioning and its implications for drug addiction. In: TR Schachtman & S Reilly (Eds.) Associative Learning and Conditioning: Human and Non-Human Applications, New York, NY: Oxford University Press (pp. 270-289).


  • [Declined] Dynamic limbic connectivity with the striatum drives the transition to habitual drug seeking. In panel ‘Functional shifts in limbic and sensorimotor brain circuitry underlying the development of drug addiction: Converging results in humans and laboratory animals.’ (2016, July). 30th CINP World Congress of Neuropsychopharmacology, Seoul, Republic of Korea.
  • Dynamic limbic inputs regulate striatal control of drug-seeking behaviour. In panel ‘Functional changes in limbic and sensorimotor brain circuits underlying the development of drug addiction.’ (2015, Aug). 28th European College of Neuropsychopharmacology, Amsterdam, The Netherlands. [webcast]
  • Learning mechanisms of drug dependence. (2015, May). Educational Workshop on Addiction, 6th Biannual SiNAPSA Neuroscience Conference, Ljubljana, Slovenia. [webcast]
  • The role of impulsivity in the transition to habitual or compulsive cocaine seeking. (2013, Dec). Center for Drug Abuse Research Translation, University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY.
  • Dynamic connectivity between the amygdala and striatum mediate the transition to cocaine-seeking habits. (2013, Dec). Local NIDA Seminar Series, University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY.
  • Cocaine seeking and the emergence of dorsolateral striatal control over behavior. (2012, Nov). Institut de Physiologie et de Biologie Cellulaires, Université de Poitiers, Poitiers, France.
  • The development of a cocaine-seeking habit is reflected in dynamic striatal shifts of dopamine control over motivated behavior. (2012, June). Institute of Neuroscience of la Timone, University of Aix-Marseille, Marseille, France.
  • The transition from goal-directed to habitual cocaine seeking is differentially regulated by specific regions of the dorsal striatum. (2011, May). Institut de Physiologie et de Biologie Cellulaires, Université de Poitiers, Poitiers, France.
  • The role of the dorsal striatum in goal-directed and habitual cocaine seeking in rats. (2011, May). Thursday Discussion Group Seminars, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, UK.
  • Transition from goal-directed to habitual cocaine seeking depends on serial connectivity between the amygdala and dorsal striatum. In panel ‘Becoming addicted: the transition to dorsal striatum mediated drug-seeking behavior.’ (2011, Jan). 44th Winter Conference on Brain Research, Keystone, CO.
  • Competition by nicotine may impact cue-related contributions to nicotine addiction. (2009, March). Central Plains Lectures in Psychology Series, College of Saint Mary, Omaha, NE.
  • A potential role of cue competition in nicotine addiction. (2008, Nov). Department of Psychology Colloquium Series, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Lincoln, NE.
  • Cue competition between an intravenous nicotine CS and light CS. (2008, August) NIDA/NIAAA/APA Divisions 28 & 50 Early Career Investigators Poster Session, APA Convention, Boston, MA.
  • Nicotine from subtypes to cigarettes. (2008, Feb). Department of Psychology, University of Nebraska at Kearney, NE.