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Brandon Oberlin, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor, Departments of Psychiatry and Neurology (IUSM), and Psychology (IUPUI), Department of Psychology

Neurobiology and behavior of addiction; behavioral economics, neuroimaging

My research interests span the range of addiction development: 1) risk factors and initiation, 2) maintenance and progression, and 3) recovery and relapse prevention.  Currently, we focus on unhealthy decision-making, behavioral traits linked to addiction/alcoholism disorders, and related brain activation.  We use fMRI neuroimaging to better understand how the brain makes maladaptive decisions, and what individual characteristics relate to impulsivity.  Collaborations with other IUSM and IUPUI researchers target longitudinal risk factors, brain dopamine systems, the use of controlled alcohol administration, and behavioral sensation seeking.  Future projects include interventions designed to promote healthier decision-making, with the goal of eventually improving addiction treatment outcomes.


B.S. 2003 (Biology), University of Oregon

Ph.D. 2010 (Medical Neuroscience), Indiana University School of Medicine


Publications & Professional Activities

  1. Oberlin BG, Dzemidzic M, Harezlak J, Kudela MA, Tran SM, Soeurt CM, Yoder KK, Kareken DA (2016) Corticostriatal and dopaminergic response to beer flavor with both fMRI and [11C]raclopride PET.  Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research 40(9): 1865-73.  PMCID: PMC5008996.
  2. Charpentier J, Dzemidzic M, West JD, Oberlin BG, Eiler II WJA, Saykin AJ, Kareken DA (2016) Externalizing personality traits, empathy, and gray matter volume in healthy young drinkers. Psychiatry Research: Neuroimaging 248: 64-72.  PMCID: PMCID: PMC4760619.
  3. Oberlin BG, Albrecht DS, Herring CM, Walters JW, Hile KL, Kareken DA, Yoder KK (2015) Monetary discounting and ventral striatal dopamine receptor availability in nontreatment-seeking alcoholics and social drinkers. Psychopharmacology 232(12): 2207-16. PMCID: PMC4545519.
  4. Weafer J, Dzemidzic M, Eiler II WJA, Oberlin BG, Wang Y, Kareken DA (2015). Associations between regional brain physiology and trait impulsivity, motor inhibition, and impaired control over drinking. Psychiatry Research: Neuroimaging 233(2): 81-87.  PMCID: PMC4536192.
  5. Oberlin BG, Dzemidzic M, Tran SM, Soeurt CM, O'Connor SJ, Yoder KK, Kareken DA (2014) Beer self-administration provokes lateralized nucleus accumbens dopamine release in male heavy drinkers. Psychopharmacology 232(5): 861-70.  PMCID: PMC4326548.
  6. Kareken DA, Dzemidzic M, Oberlin BG, Eiler II WJA (2013) A Preliminary Study of the Human Brain Response to Oral Sucrose and its Association with Recent Drinking. Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research 37(12): 2058-65. [Selected for EurekAlert!] PMCID: PMC4166559.
  7. Kareken DA, Dzemidzic M, Wetherill M, Eiler II W, Oberlin BG, Harezlak J, Wang J, O'Connor SJ (2013) Family history of alcoholism interacts with alcohol to affect brain regions involved in behavioral inhibition. Psychopharmacology 228(2): 335-45.  PMCID: PMC3695053.
  8. Oberlin BG, Dzemidzic M, Tran SM, Soeurt CM, Albrecht DS, Yoder KK, Kareken DA (2013) Striatal dopamine release in response to beer flavor: mediation by family history of alcoholism. Neuropsychopharmacology 38(9): 1617-24. [Selected as Featured Article]  PMCID: PMC3717546.
  9. Schulte T, Oberlin BG, Kareken DA, Marinkovic K, Muller-Oehring EM, Meyerhoff DJ, Tapert S (2012) How Acute and Chronic Alcohol Consumption affects Brain Networks: Insights from Multimodal Neuroimaging. Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research 36(12): 2017-27.
  10. Oberlin BG, Dzemidzic M, Bragulat V, Lehigh CA, Talavage T, O'Connor SJ, Kareken DA (2012) Limbic responses to reward cues correlate with antisocial trait density in heavy drinkers. NeuroImage 60(1): 644-52.  PMCID: PMC3288676.
  11. Oberlin BG, Best C, Matson L, Henderson A, Grahame N (2011) Derivation and characterization of replicate high- and low- alcohol preferring lines of mice and a high-drinking crossed HAP line. Behavior Genetics 41(2): 288-302.  PMCID: PMC4041157.
  12. Oberlin BG, Bristow RE, Heighton ME, Grahame NJ (2010) Pharmacologic dissociation between impulsivity and alcohol drinking in High Alcohol Preferring mice. Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research 34(8): 1363-75.  PMCID: PMC3967789.
  13. Fidler TL, Oberlin BG, Struthers AM, Cunningham CL (2009) Schedule of passive ethanol exposure affects subsequent intragastric ethanol self-infusion.  Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research 33(11): 1909-23.  PMCID: PMC2883445.
  14. Oberlin BG, Grahame NJ (2009) High alcohol preferring mice are more impulsive than low alcohol preferring mice as measured in the delay discounting task. Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research 33(7):1-10. [Selected for EurekAlert!]  PMCID: PMC2872785.


Honors, Awards and Grants

National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (K99/R00 AA023296);

Neural Bases of Alcohol-related Decision-making.  7/01/2015 - 6/30/2020; Oberlin (PI).


National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (T32 AA007462);

Training Grant on Genetic Aspects of Alcoholism.  11/01/2010 - 10/31/2013; McBride (PI).


National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (F31 AA016430);

Assessing Impulsivity in High Alcohol Preferring Mice.  09/16/2006 - 03/01/2010; Oberlin (PI).


Indiana University School of Medicine Graduate Fellowship

2004 - 2005 Academic year.


University of Oregon McNair Scholar Fellowship

2002 - 2003 Academic year.

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