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Cal State L.A.

Teaching Interests
Educational Background

Alicia Izquierdo (Edler)
Associate Professor

College of Natural and Social Sciences
Department of Psychology

Office: La Kretz Hall 254

Office Phone: 323-343-2283

Lab: La Kretz Hall 334

Lab Phone: 323-343-5033



One of my main professional goals is to encourage women and ethnic minorities to pursue research careers in behavioral neuroscience. To this end, I try to expose my students to the many career options within Psychology and also try to infuse a passion for the puzzle-solving nature of research in my teaching and mentoring.



Because of my research background in cognitive and behavioral neuroscience, I particularly enjoy teaching courses on Behavioral Neuroscience, Emotion and Motivation, as well as graduate seminars in Neuropsychopharmacology and Advanced Research Methods. In order to better involve students in research I try to stimulate critical thinking and encourage the development of unique research questions in their area of interest.



Our lab's main research interests include: Uncovering the neural mechanisms important for flexible cognition and behavior, exploring the factors contributing to reward-related decision-making, and studying the neuropharmacology of [and effects of psychostimulants on] executive function. At best, addressing these research questions could contribute to a better understanding (and treatment) of addiction and relapse, and diseases such as OCD, PTSD, and Impulse Control Disorder.


NIH NIGMS 1SC2 MH087974-01 $433, 500 "Methamphetamine effect on cognitive flexibility" 2009-2012


Title Date
Izquierdo A, Darling C, Manos N, Pozos H, Kim C, Ostrander S, Cazares V, Stepp H, Rudebeck PH. Basolateral amygdala lesions facilitate reward choices after negative feedback in rats. The Journal of Neuroscience 33(9): 4105-9. 2013
Kosheleff AR, Rodriguez D, O’Dell SJ, Marshall JF, Izquierdo A. Comparison of single-dose and escalating methamphetamine administration on reversal learning in rats. Psychopharmacology 224(3):459-67. 2012
Izquierdo A, Carlos K, Ostrander S, Rodriguez D, McCall-Craddolph, Yagnik G, Zhou F. Impaired reward learning and intact motivation after serotonin depletion in rats. Behavioural Brain Research DOI 10.1016/j.bbr.2012.05.032. 2012
Izquierdo A and Jentsch JD. Reversal learning as a measure of impulsive and compulsive behavior in addictions. In Robbins TW (Ed.) Impulsivity and Compulsivity. Psychopharmacology 219 (2): 607-20. 2012
Barkus C, Feyder M, Graybeal C, Wright T, Wiedholz L, Izquierdo A, Kiselycznyk C, Schmitt W, Sanderson DJ, Rawlins JN, Saksida LM, Bussey TJ, Sprengel R, Bannerman D, Holmes A. Do GluA1 knockout mice exhibit behavioral abnormalities relevant to the negative or cognitive symptoms of schizophrenia and schizoaffective disorder? Neuropharmacology DOI:10.1016/j.neuropharm.2011.06.005. 2011
Kosheleff AR, Grimes M, O'Dell SJ, Marshall JF, Izquierdo A. Work aversion and associated changes in dopamine and serotonin transporter after methamphetamine exposure in rats. Psychopharmacology Online First DOI: 10.1007/s00213-011-2367-4. 2011
Ostrander S, Cazares VA, Kim C, Cheung S, Gonzalez I and Izquierdo A. Orbitofrontal cortex and basolateral amygdala lesions result in suboptimal and dissociable reward choices on cue-guided effort in rats. In Baxter, MG (Ed.) Translating models in Prefrontal Cortex Function. Behavioral Neuroscience 125(3): 350-359. APA Journals. 2011
Izquierdo A and Belcher AM. Rodent Models of Adaptive Decision Making. In Kobeissy, FH (Ed.) Psychiatric Disorders: Methods and Protocols. Humana Press: New York. 2011
Brigman JL, Mathur P, Harvey-White J, Izquierdo A, Saksida LM, Bussey TJ, Fox S, Deneris E, Murphy DL, Holmes A. Pharmacological or genetic inactivation of the serotonin transporter improves reversal learning in mice. Cerebral Cortex 20(8): 1955-1963. 2010
Izquierdo A and Murray EA. Functional interaction of medial mediodorsal thalamic nucleus but not nucleus accumbens with amygdala and orbital prefrontal cortex is essential for adaptive response selection after reinforcer devaluation. The Journal of Neuroscience 30: 661-669. 2010
Izquierdo A, Belcher AM, Scott L, Cazares VA, Chen J, O'Dell SJ, Malvaez M, Wu T, and Marshall JF. Reversal-specific learning impairments after a binge regimen of methamphetamine in rats: Possible involvement of striatal dopamine. Neuropsychopharmacology 35: 505-514. 2010
Chudasama Y, Izquierdo A, Murray EA. Distinct contributions of the amygdala and hippocampus to fear expression. European Journal of Neuroscience 30: 2327-2337. 2009
Murray EA, Izquierdo A, and Malkova L. Amygdala function in positive reinforcement: Contributions from studies of nonhuman primates. In: Whalen PJ, and Phelps EA (Eds) The Human Amygdala, Guilford, New York. 2009
Murray EA, Izquierdo A. Orbitofrontal cortex and amygdala contributions to affect and action in primates. Ann NY Acad  Sci 1121:273-296. 2007
Izquierdo A, Newman TK, Higley JD, Murray EA. Genetic modulation of cognitive flexibility and socioemotional behavior in rhesus monkeys. PNAS USA 104: 14128-14133. 2007
Wellman CL, Izquierdo A, Garrett JE, Martin KP, Carroll J, Millstein R, Lesch KP, Murphy DL, and Holmes A. Impaired stress-coping and fear extinction and abnormal corticolimbic morphology in serotonin transporter knock-out mice. The Journal of Neuroscience 27: 684-691. 2007
Izquierdo A and Murray EA. Selective bilateral amygdala lesions in rhesus monkeys fail to disrupt object reversal learning. The Journal of Neuroscience 27: 1054-1062. 2007
Izquierdo A, Wellman CL, Holmes A. Stress causes rapid dendritic retraction in infralimbic cortex and impairs fear extinction in mice. The Journal of Neuroscience 26: 5733-5738. 2006
Izquierdo A, Wiedholz LM, Millstein RA, Yang RJ, Bussey TJ, Saksida LM, and Holmes A. Genetic and dopaminergic modulation of reversal learning in a touchscreen-based operant procedure for mice. Behavioural Brain Research 171: 181-188. 2006
Izquierdo A and Murray EA. Opposing effects of amygdala and orbital prefrontal cortex lesions on the extinction of instrumental responding in macaque monkeys. European Journal of Neuroscience 22: 2341-2346. 2005
Izquierdo A, Suda RK, and Murray EA. Comparison of the effects of bilateral orbital prefrontal cortex lesions and amygdala lesions on emotional responses in rhesus monkeys. The Journal of Neuroscience 25: 8534-8542. 2005
Izquierdo A, Suda RK, and Murray EA. Bilateral orbital prefrontal cortex lesions in rhesus monkeys disrupt choices guided by both reward value and reward contingency. The Journal of Neuroscience 24: 7540 7548. 2004
Izquierdo A and Murray EA. Combined unilateral lesions of the amygdala and orbital prefrontal cortex impair affective processing in rhesus monkeys. Journal of Neurophysiology. 91: 2023-2039. 2004
Baxter MG, Parker A, Lindner CCC, Izquierdo AD, Murray EA. Control of response selection by reinforcer value requires interaction of amygdala and orbital prefrontal cortex. The Journal of Neuroscience. 20(11): 4311-4319. 2000



Ph.D. Cognitive Neuroscience 2003

  • The George Washington University
    in partnership with
  • (Graduate Partnership Program) at The National Institutes of Health
    Washington D.C. and Bethesda, MD

B.S. Biology and Psychology 1996

  • Emory University
    Atlanta, GA