Rick Bevins

Willa Cather Professor & Chair of Psychology Psychology

Lab site: Behavioral Neuropharmacology Lab Homepage

Curriculum Vitae (PDF)

I will be looking to recruit 1 or 2 new graduate students to enter Fall of 2017 
      Apply now...

Educational History

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 & Associative Pharmacology
Mentor: Dr. M.T. Bardo

Research Interests

My research program bridges areas of neuroscience, pharmacology, animal learning and cognition, and psychology. My research team uses 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 α4β2-containing nicotinic acetylcholine receptors and the dorsal medial striatum in acquired appetitive behaviors controlled by the nicotine stimulus. Other empirical efforts focus on novel immune- and 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 of addiction. We are also 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
Recent Selected Articles (out of 125+)
  • Barrett ST & Bevins RA (2013) Nicotine enhances operant responding for qualitatively distinct reinforcers under maintenance and extinction conditions. Pharmacology, Biochemistry and Behavior, 114/5, 9-15.

  • Charntikov S, Swalve N, Pittenger S, Fink K, Schepers S, Hadlock GC, Fleckenstein AE, Hu G, Li M, & Bevins RA (2013) Iptakalim attenuates self-administration and acquired goal-tracking behavior controlled by nicotine. Neuropharmacology, 75, 138-144.

  • Pittenger ST & Bevins RA (2013) Interoceptive conditioning with a nicotine stimulus is susceptible to reinforcer devaluation. Behavioral Neuroscience, 127, 465-473.

  • Polewan RJ, Savala SA, & Bevins RA (2013) Interoceptive conditioning with the nicotine stimulus: Extinction learning as a method for assessing stimulus similarity across doses. Behavioural Pharmacology, 24, 45-54.

  • Charntikov S, deWit N, & Bevins RA (2014) Interoceptive conditioning with nicotine using extinction and re-extinction to assess stimulus similarity with bupropion. Neuropharmacology, 86, 181-191.

  • 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.

  • Barrett ST, Geary TN, Steiner AN, & Bevins RA (in press) Sex differences and the role of dopamine receptors in the reward-enhancing effects of nicotine and bupropion. Psychopharmacology.

  • Swalve N, Pittenger ST, Bevins RA, & Li M (2015) Phencyclidine transiently attenuates nicotine self-administration and potentiates stress-induced reinstatement in the presence of a visual stimulus. Psychopharmacology, 232, 2877–2887.

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • NIH (R01 DA034389): Pharmacological interventions for diminishing nicotine associated responding
  • NIH (R21 DA039356): The interplay between interoception, learning, and relapse risk 
  • NIH (R01 DA042379) Role of extracellular vesicles in methamphetamine-mediated neurotoxicity
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