Brandon Oberlin, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor
Department of Neurology
Indiana University School of Medicine

Research Interests

Dr. Oberlin’s studies on addiction focus on pathological decision-making, cue-reactivity, and dopamine (DA) responses, utilizing fMRI and PET neuroimaging techniques.  Current investigations in heavy drinkers target decision-making related to alcohol choices and sensation seeking.  Ongoing projects with Dr. David Kareken aim to identify DA responses to conditioned, unconditioned, and unexpected alcohol stimuli in heavy and social drinkers.  Dr. Oberlin works closely with Dr. Karmen Yoder (IUSM Radiology) as well, examining the relationship of DA to decision-making in alcoholics and social drinkers.  Administration of pharmacokinetically-modeled alcohol dosing is performed with use of Dr. Sean O’Connor’s Indiana Alcohol Clamp, and ongoing collaborations with Drs. O’Connor and Plawecki utilize this method to characterize decision-making, motivation, and brain responses to alcohol self-administration in humans.  Recent work with Dr. Melissa Cyders’ group (IUPUI Psychology) has led to the development of a behavioral model of sensation seeking, which is currently being validated.  Dr. Oberlin’s ongoing consulting with faculty within the Addictions Neuroscience group (IUPUI Psychology) facilitates translational research using selected lines of high alcohol drinking rodents.


Postdoctoral Fellow: Indiana University School of Medicine
Ph.D. Medical Neuroscience: Indiana University School of Medicine
B.S. Biology: University of Oregon

Selected Publications

1) 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.

2) Weafer J, Džemidžic 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 (in press).

3) Oberlin BG, Džemidžic 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.

4) Kareken DA, Džemidžic 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. 

5) Kareken DA, Džemidžic 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. 

6) Oberlin BG, Džemidžic 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.

7) Schulte T, Oberlin BG, Kareken DA, Marinkovic K, Müller-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.

8) Oberlin BG, Džemidžic 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.

9) 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.

10) 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.

11) 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.

12) 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.

Last updated: 10/29/2015

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