James C. Eliassen
Adjunct Assistant Professor of Psychology
My research examines learning and the effects of drug abuse and addiction on brain function. I investigate this by studying how the brains of individuals who use addictive drugs differ from the brains of healthy individuals. Using associative learning tasks (games like "Rock, Paper, Scissors") in combination with a brain imaging technique called functional MRI, I study how the brain responds to learning and how drug use alters the typical pattern of brain activity seen in healthy individuals. In addition to fMRI, I also employ structural MRI, diffusion-weighted/diffusion tensor imaging, MR spectroscopy and event-related potential EEG (ERPs).
Ph.D., University of California, Davis Davis, California, 1997 (Neuroscience)
B.A., Stanford University Palo Alto, California, 1988 (Human Biology)
2002 -2003 Investigator (Research), Neuroscience, Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island
The goal of my research is to understand the neural origins of addiction in order to improve addiction treatment. Specifically, my work encompasses two objectives:
1. To identify the brain regions that participate in reinforcement learning and understand how these regions are affected by addiction,
2. To develop magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) biomarkers of structural, functional and biochemical changes and electrophysiological changes in the brain during addiction to be used to assess treatment success.
Drugs of abuse directly and powerfully activate the midbrain dopamine system, which typically participates in reinforcement learning regarding ordinary rewards such as food. Drugs of abuse activate this same system in response to intoxication, but unlike ordinary rewards, the effects of drugs on the dopamine system does not diminish with repeated use.
Through the action of drugs on the dopamine system, addicted individuals learn to engage in compulsive drug seeking behaviors because these behaviors predict the reward of intoxication. The difference between typical and addicted reward behavior is that a hungry animal will eat until it is satiated and then satisfy other needs, while a drug addict’s desire for intoxication may prevail over the desire to maintain a rewarding lifestyle, including good health, satisfactory job performance, and strong social relationships.
In most people the negative consequences of a deteriorating lifestyle outweigh the reward of intoxication and drug abuse does not lead to addiction. In other words, the punishments outweigh the rewards at some point for most people.
Reinforcement learning models do not distinguish between reward and punishment as effective reinforcers of behavior, but addiction appears to distinguish reward and punishment because the reward of intoxication outweighs the punishments of continued drug abuse.
We are investigating associative learning disorder models of addiction with an eye toward trying to understand why the unpleasant consequences of serious drug dependency does not lead to stoppage of drug use.
2006 -2012 NIH/NIDA-K01 Linking serotonin and memory functions in MDMA users by concurrent EEG and fMRI. Role:PI Completed
2006 -2008 Young Investigator Award, National Alliance for Research on Schizophrenia and Depression (NARSAD) Identifying a neurochemical basis for fMRI abnormalities in Bipolar Disorder with phosphorus MRSI. This project examines bipolar disorder patients to determine if neurochemical abnormalities, as measured by MR spectroscopy, and functional activation deficits, as measured by fMRI arise in the same brain regions. Role:PI Active
2005 -2009 American Heart Association The effects of various durations of electrical stimulation on cortical reorganization and motor recovery in subacute stroke. Role:Consultant
Grant: #1 P50 MH077138-01A1 2007 -2012 U. of Cincinnati Bipolar Disorder Imaging & Treatment Research Center (BITREC) Role:Co-Investigator Active
2004 -2009 R01 NIMH Anterior limbic network dysfunction in bipolar disorder Role:Co-Investigator
2006 -2007 Indiana University Medical Center fMRI Study of Dedifferentiation and Compensation in Alzheimers Disease Role:Co-Investigator
Grant: #K01 DA020485 Investigators:Eliassen, James 09-30-2006 -08-31-2012 National Institute on Drug Abuse Linking Serotonin and Memory Function in MDMA Users by Concurrent EEG and fMRI Role:PI $798,431.00 Active Level:Federal
Grant: #005064-001 Investigators:Eliassen, James; Ficker, David; Nelson, Erik; Szaflarski, Jerzy 07-01-2007 -12-31-2009 Epilepsy Foundation Neurobiology of Depression and Suicidality in Epilepsy: A Functional MRI Study Role:Collaborator $50,000.00 Closed Level:Private Non-Profit
Grant: #F30 MH081461 Investigators:Adler, Caleb; Delbello, Melissa; Eliassen, James; Lamy, Martine; Lee, Jing-Huei; Shear, Paula; Strakowski, Stephen; Succop, Paul 12-01-2008 -06-30-2013 National Institute of Mental Health Neural Mechanisms of Impulsivity and Reward Processing in Bipolar Disorder Role:Collaborator $194,264.00 Active Level:Federal
Grant: #SRS 006212 Investigators:Chu, Wen-Jang; Eliassen, James; Krikorian, Robert; Nasrallah, Henry 07-06-2009 -06-30-2014 U.S. Highbush Blueberry Council Blueberry Supplementation, Inflammation, and Metabolism in Cognitive Aging Role:Collaborator $221,613.00 Active Level:Other
Grant: #SRS 006309 Investigators:Eliassen, James; Espay, Alberto; Szaflarski, Jerzy 04-01-2009 -03-31-2011 Davis Phinney Foundation Expectation of Efficacy and Cost of Interventions in the Treatment of Parkinson's Disease Role:Collaborator $58,317.00 Closed Level:Private Non-Profit
Grant: #1 R03 DA027457-01 Investigators:Eliassen, James; Medina, Krista; Shear, Paula; Strong, Judith 09-01-2009 -08-31-2012 National Institute on Drug Abuse Effects of SLC6A4, BDNF and Ecstasy Use on Brain Structure in Young Adults Role:Collaborator $471,000.00 Active Level:Federal
Grant: #K25 MH085103 Investigators:Adler, Caleb; Chu, Wen-Jang; Eliassen, James; Lee, Jing-Huei; Nasrallah, Henry; Nelson, Erik; Strakowski, Stephen 04-01-2010 -12-31-2013 National Institute of Mental Health Contrasting Glutamatergic Neurotransmission in Bipolar Disorder and Schizophrenia Role:Collaborator $495,850.00 Active Level:Federal
Grant: #1 R15 DC011004-01 Investigators:Eliassen, James; Levin, Linda; Samy, Ravi; Zhang, Fawen 04-08-2010 -09-30-2013 National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disor Temporal Processing Properties of the Auditory System in Cochlear Implant Systems Role:Collaborator $487,434.00 Active Level:Federal
Grant: #R01 DA030354 Investigators:Carl, Daniel; Eliassen, James; Medina, Krista 03-15-2011 -02-29-2016 National Institute on Drug Abuse Effects of Physical Activity and Marijuana use on Frontolimbic Connectivity During Adolescence: An fMRI Study Role:Collaborator $.00 Closed Level:Federal
Peer Reviewed Publications
Fleck, David E; Kotwal, Renu; Eliassen, James C; Lamy, Martine; Delbello, Melissa P; Adler, Caleb M; Durling, Michelle; Cerullo, Michael A; Strakowski, Stephen M (2011. )Journal of affective disorders, ,133 (1-2 ),333-9
Bernstein, Jonathan A; Hastings, Lloyd; Boespflug, Erin L; Allendorfer, Jane B; Lamy, Martine; Eliassen, James C (2011. )Annals of allergy, asthma & immunology : official publication of the American College of Allergy, Asthma, & Immunology, ,106 (6 ),527-32
Strakowski, Stephen M; Eliassen, James C; Lamy, Martine; Cerullo, Michael A; Allendorfer, Jane B; Madore, Michelle; Lee, Jing-Huei; Welge, Jeffrey A; DelBello, Melissa P; Fleck, David E; Adler, Caleb M (2011. )Biological psychiatry, ,69 (4 ),381-8
Zhang, Fawen; Deshpande, Aniruddha; Benson, Chelsea; Smith, Mathew; Eliassen, James; Fu, Qian-Jie (2011. )Brain research, ,1400 ,42-52
Harnish, Stacy M; Neils-Strunjas, Jean; Eliassen, James; Reilly, Jamie; Meinzer, Marcus; Clark, John Greer; Joseph, Jane (2010. )Cognitive and behavioral neurology : official journal of the Society for Behavioral and Cognitive Neurology, ,23 (4 ),231-9
Fleck, D E; Eliassen, J C; Durling, M; Lamy, M; Adler, C M; Delbello, M P; Shear, P K; Cerullo, M A; Lee, J-H; Strakowski, S M (2010. )Molecular psychiatry, ,
Krikorian, Robert; Eliassen, James C; Boespflug, Erin L; Nash, Tiffany A; Shidler, Marcelle D (2010. )Nutritional neuroscience, ,13 (3 ),116-22
McNamara, Robert K; Able, Jessica; Jandacek, Ronald; Rider, Therese; Tso, Patrick; Eliassen, James C; Alfieri, David; Weber, Wade; Jarvis, Kelly; DelBello, Melissa P; Strakowski, Stephen M; Adler, Caleb M (2010. )The American journal of clinical nutrition, ,91 (4 ),1060-7
Page, Stephen J; Harnish, Stacy M; Lamy, Martine; Eliassen, James C; Szaflarski, Jerzy P (2010. )Neurorehabilitation and neural repair, ,24 (2 ),195-203
Page, Stephen J; Szaflarski, Jerzy P; Eliassen, James C; Pan, Hai; Cramer, Steven C (2009. )Neurorehabilitation and neural repair, ,23 (4 ),382-8
Sheinkopf, Stephen J; Lester, Barry M; Sanes, Jerome N; Eliassen, James C; Hutchison, Emmette R; Seifer, Ronald; Lagasse, Linda L; Durston, Sarah; Casey, B J (2009. )Developmental neuroscience, ,31 (1-2 ),159-66
Myers, Emily B; Blumstein, Sheila E; Walsh, Edward; Eliassen, James (2009. )Psychological science, ,20 (7 ),895-903
Zhang, Fawen; Eliassen, James; Anderson, Jill; Scheifele, Peter; Brown, David (2009. )The time course of the amplitude and latency in the auditory late response evoked by repeated tone bursts. Journal of the American Academy of Audiology, ,20 (4 ),239-50
Strakowski, Stephen M; Adler, Caleb M; Cerullo, Michael A; Eliassen, James C; Lamy, Martine; Fleck, David E; Lee, Jing-Huei; Delbello, Melissa P (2008. )Early intervention in psychiatry, ,2 (4 ),225-233
Eliassen, James C; Holland, Scott K; Szaflarski, Jerzy P (2008. )Epilepsy & behavior : E&B, ,13 (3 ),463-9
Harnish, Stacy M; Neils-Strunjas, Jean; Lamy, Martine; Eliassen, James C (2008. )Topics in stroke rehabilitation, ,15 (5 ),468-83
Eliassen, James C; Boespflug, Erin L; Lamy, Martine; Allendorfer, Jane; Chu, Wen-Jang; Szaflarski, Jerzy P (2008. )Topics in stroke rehabilitation, ,15 (5 ),427-50
Fleck, David E; Nandagopal, Jayasree; Cerullo, Michael A; Eliassen, James C; DelBello, Melissa P; Adler, Caleb M; Strakowski, Stephen M (2008. )Topics in magnetic resonance imaging : TMRI, ,19 (2 ),131-42
Cerullo, Michael A; Adler, Caleb M; Strakowski, Stephen M; Eliassen, James C; Nasrallah, Henry A; Nasrallah, Amelia T (2007. )Schizophrenia research, ,97 (1-3 ),294-6
Kim, Jennifer A; Eliassen, James C; Sanes, Jerome N (2005. )Journal of neurophysiology, ,94 (4 ),2504-11
Strakowski, Stephen M; Adler, Caleb M; Holland, Scott K; Mills, Neil P; DelBello, Melissa P; Eliassen, James C (2005. )The American journal of psychiatry, ,162 (9 ),1697-705
Herz, Rachel S; Eliassen, James; Beland, Sophia; Souza, Timothy (2004. )Neuroimaging evidence for the emotional potency of odor-evoked memory. Neuropsychologia, ,42 (3 ),371-8
Eliassen, James C; Souza, Timothy; Sanes, Jerome N (2003. )Experience-dependent activation patterns in human brain during visual-motor associative learning. The Journal of neuroscience : the official journal of the Society for Neuroscience, ,23 (33 ),10540-7
Rissman, Jesse; Eliassen, James C; Blumstein, Sheila E (2003. )Journal of cognitive neuroscience, ,15 (8 ),1160-75
Acuna, Bettina D; Eliassen, James C; Donoghue, John P; Sanes, Jerome N (2002. )Frontal and parietal lobe activation during transitive inference in humans. Cerebral cortex (New York, N.Y. : 1991), ,12 (12 ),1312-21
Eliassen, J C; Souza, T; Sanes, J N (2001. )Experimental brain research. Experimentelle Hirnforschung. Expérimentation cérébrale, ,141 (3 ),269-80
Eliassen, J C; Baynes, K; Gazzaniga, M S (2000. )Anterior and posterior callosal contributions to simultaneous bimanual movements of the hands and fingers. Brain : a journal of neurology, ,123 Pt 12 ,2501-11
Eliassen, J C; Baynes, K; Gazzaniga, M S (1999. )Direction information coordinated via the posterior third of the corpus callosum during bimanual movements. Experimental brain research. Experimentelle Hirnforschung. Expérimentation cérébrale, ,128 (4 ),573-7
Baynes, K; Eliassen, J C; Lutsep, H L; Gazzaniga, M S (1998. )Modular organization of cognitive systems masked by interhemispheric integration. Science (New York, N.Y.), ,280 (5365 ),902-5
Gazzaniga, M S; Eliassen, J C; Nisenson, L; Wessinger, C M; Fendrich, R; Baynes, K (1996. )Collaboration between the hemispheres of a callosotomy patient. Emerging right hemisphere speech and the left hemisphere interpreter. Brain : a journal of neurology, ,119 ( Pt 4) ,1255-62
Miller, M B; Fendrich, R; Eliassen, J C; Demirel, S; Gazzaniga, M S (1996. )Transcranial magnetic stimulation: delays in visual suppression due to luminance changes. Neuroreport, ,7 (11 ),1740-4
Stone, V E; Nisenson, L; Eliassen, J C; Gazzaniga, M S (1996. )Left hemisphere representations of emotional facial expressions. Neuropsychologia, ,34 (1 ),23-9
Rajpara, S M; Garcia, P D; Roberts, R; Eliassen, J C; Owens, D F; Maltby, D; Myers, R M; Mayeri, E (1992. )Identification and molecular cloning of a neuropeptide Y homolog that produces prolonged inhibition in Aplysia neurons. Neuron, ,9 (3 ),505-13
Eliassen, J C; Rajpara, S M; Mayeri, E (1991. )Journal of neurobiology, ,22 (7 ),698-706
2008 Fellow, ERP Bootcamp, University of California, Davis.
2006 NARSAD Young Investigator Award “Identifying a neurochemical basis for fMRI abnormalities in Bipolar Disorder with phosphorus MRSI.”
2005 Faculty Development Council, Interdisciplinary Grants, University of Cincinnati. “Creating a UC Core of Multi-Modal Neuroimaging Researchers and Teachers”.
1997-2002 Post-Doctoral Research Associate, Neuroscience, Brown University, ,Providence, Rhode Island
We use functional, anatomical, and spectroscopic MRI techniques and are working to incorporate brain electrical recordings, such as EEG and Event-Related Potentials, to study brain activity with multi-modal imaging techniques.
See: http://www.cir.uc.edu/~jeliassen/ ,
Center for Imaging Research, MSB E685D
231 Albert Sabin Way, University of Cincinnati,
Cincinnati Ohio, 45267-0583
Phone: (513) 558-5863
Fax: (513) 558-7164
Academic - Office E681A Medical Sciences Services Building
3224 Eden Avenue
Cincinnati Ohio, 45267