Chancellor's Professor & Interim Associate Vice Chancellor for Research Psychology

Behavioral Neuropharmacology Lab website

Curriculum Vitae (PDF)

Research Interests

My research program bridges areas of neuroscience, pharmacology, animal learning and behavior, and biopsychology. We use preclinical animal models to elucidate the behavioral, neural, and pharmacological factors involved in the etiology of drug abuse. One arm of this research program investigates how behavioral and neuropharmacological processes involved in the perceptibility of a drug stimulus and the behavior it controls changes with learning history. For nicotine, recent research implicates β2-containing nicotinic acetylcholine receptors and the dorsal medial striatum in acquired appetitive behaviors controlled by the nicotine stimulus. Other empirical efforts focus on neuro-inflammation and novel pharmacotherapy approaches for nicotine and methamphetamine addiction, understanding the reward-enhancing effects of drugs using behavioral economics, and development of more translationally relevant animal models to inform FDA tobacco regulation policy. We are extending these arms of the research program to include sex differences and nicotine-alcohol interaction.

If interested in more information about my research program, please visit our lab website at the link above or contact me via e-mail.


  • Chair of Psychology
  • NIH Study Section Member (Neurobiology of Motivated Behavior): 2014-2020
  • Past President for Division 28 (Psychopharmacology and Substance Abuse) of APA
  • Behavioral Pharmacology & Neuroscience Editor for Journal of Experimental Analysis of Behavior
  • Associate Editor for Motivated Behavior, Pharmacology Biochemistry and Behavior

Selected Articles

Out of 140+.

  • Bevins RA & Besheer J (2014) Interoception and learning: Import to understanding and treating diseases and psychopathologies. ACS: Chemical Neuroscience, 5, 624-631.  

  • Bevins RA & Charntikov S (2015) We know very little about the subjective effects of drugs in females.  ACS: Chemical Neuroscience, 6, 359−361.

  • Charntikov S, Pittenger ST, Thapa I, Bastola DR, Bevins RA, & Pendyala G (2015) Ibudilast reverses the decrease in phosphatidylethanolamine-binding protein 1 induced by methamphetamine intake. Drug and Alcohol Dependence, 152, 15-23.

  • Falco AM & Bevins RA (2015) Individual differences in the behavioral effects of nicotine: A review of the preclinical animal literature. Pharmacology, Biochemistry and Behavior, 138, 80-90.

  • Pittenger ST, Swalve N, Chou S, Smith MD, Hoonakker AJ, Pudiak CM, Fleckenstein AE, Hanson GR, & Bevins RA (2016) Sex differences in neurotensin and substance P following nicotine self-administration in rats. Synapse, 70, 336-346.

  • Simpson JL, Grant KM, Daly P, Kelley SG, Carlo G, & Bevins RA (2016) Psychological burden in men and women methamphetamine-dependent patients in treatment. Journal of Psychoactive Drugs, 48, 261-269.
  • Barrett ST, Geary TN, Steiner AN, & Bevins RA (2017) Sex differences and the role of dopamine receptors in the reward-enhancing effects of nicotine and bupropion. Psychopharmacology, 234, 187-198.
  • Charntikov S, Pittenger ST, Swalve N, Li M, & Bevins RA (2017) Double dissociation of the anterior and posterior dorsomedial caudate-putamen in the acquisition and expression of associative learning with the nicotine stimulus. Neuropharmacology, 121, 111-119.
  • Pittenger ST, Chou S, Catalano I, Lydiatt M, & Bevins RA (2017) Investigation of sex differences in nicotine- and cocaine-triggered methamphetamine reinstatement. Pharmacology, Biochemistry and Behavior, 159, 69-75.
  • Murray JE, Barrett ST, Brock RL, & Bevins RA (2017) Caring about power analyses. ACS: Chemical Neuroscience, 8, 2352-2354.  Editors Favorites of 2017
  • Pittenger ST, Schaal VL, Moore D, Yelamanchili SV, Bevins RA, & Pendyala G (2018) miR199a, miR214, and SIRT1 differentially expressed in female and male rats following nicotine self-administration. Nature: Scientific Reports, 8:17464.

  • Barrett ST, Thompson BM, Emory JR, Larsen CE, Pittenger ST, Harris EN, & Bevins RA (2019) Sex differences in the reward enhancing effects of nicotine on ethanol reinforcement: A reinforcer demand analysis. Nicotine & Tobacco Research.
  • Thompson BM, Barrett ST, & Bevins RA (2019) Exploring the interoceptive stimulus effects of nicotine and varenicline. Pharmacology, Biochemistry & Behavior, 181, 9-16.
  • Meays BM, Simpson JL, Ramos A, Bevins RA, Carlo G, & Grant KM (2019) Children exposed to methamphetamine in settings where the drug is being used. Children and Youth Services Review. 104, 104393


  • Bevins RA & Bardo MT, Eds. (2004) Volume 50 of the Nebraska Symposium on Motivation: Motivational Factors in the Etiology of Drug Abuse. Participants: Bardo M, Bevins R, de Wit H, Koob G, Panksepp J, Spealman R, Stewart J, Vogel-Sprott M, & Wise R. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press.
  • Bevins RA & Caggiula AR, Eds. (2009) Volume 55 of the Nebraska Symposium on Motivation: The Motivational Impact on Nicotine and its Role in Tobacco Use. Participants: Bardo M, Bevins R, Caggiula A, Dani J, Dwoskin D, Markou A, Perkins K, Picciotto M, Rose J, Schnur P, & Tiffany S. New York: Springer.
  • Hope DA & Bevins RA, Eds. (2018) Volume 66 of the Nebraska Symposium on Motivation: Change and Maintaining Change. Participants: Albarracín D, Bevins R, Bird C, Hope, D, Higgins S, Koob G, Madden G, Maibach, Rosser-Renouf.  New York: Springer.


  • NIH (R01 DA042379): Role of extracellular vesicles in methamphetamine-mediated neurotoxicity
  • NIH (R01 DA046109): Interoceptive conditioning with nicotine: Changes in abuse liability
  • NIH (R01 DA046691): Inflammation, glutamate, and methamphetamine relapse: Role of sex differences
  • NIH (P20 GM130461): Rural Drug Addition Research Center – COBRE (Associate Director)
  • NSRI (National Strategic Research Initiative): Evaluation of potential measures to counter the incapacitating effects of non-opiate sedative

Peer Review Journals

  • Learning & Behavior
  • Behavioural Brain Research
  • JEP: Animal Behavior Processes
  • Life Sciences
  • Neurobiology of Learning and Memory
  • Neuropsychopharmacology
  • Pharmacology Biochemistry & Behavior
  • Physiology & Behavior
  • Psychopharmacology
  • Learning and Motivation
  • J of Pharmacology & Experimental Therapeutics
  • Behavioural Pharmacology
  • Neuropharmacology
  • Behavioural Processes
  • Brain Research
  • Behavioral Neuroscience
  • International J. Comparative Psychology
  • Developmental Psychobiology
  • Nature Protocols
  • Neurotoxicology & Teratology
  • Synapse
  • Nicotine & Tobacco Research
  • Neuroscience Letters
  • Journal of Neuroscience
  • Drug and Alcohol Dependence
  • Neuroscience & Biobehavioral Reviews
  • Nature: Scientific Reports


Jacksonville State University
Bachelor of Science, April 1989

  • Major: Psychology
  • Mentor: Dr. W.L. Palya

University of Massachusetts, Amherst
Doctor of Philosophy, September 1993

  • Major: Neuroscience & Behavior
  • Specialty: Animal Learning 
  • Mentor: Dr. J.J.B. Ayres

University of Kentucky, KY 40506
Post-doctoral Fellow, 1993-1996

  • Specialty: Behavioral Pharmacology & Drug Abuse
  • Mentor: Dr. M.T. Bardo