Charlotte A. Boettiger*, Ph.D.

PhD: University of California, San Francisco (Neuroscience)

AB: University of California, Berkeley (Integrative Biology)

Faculty Member of:

Behavioral Neuroscience Program

Biomedical Research Imaging Center

Curriculum in Neurobiology

Bowles Center for Alcohol Studies


Dr. Boettiger may be accepting graduate students for 2014. Please contact for information regarding postdoctoral and undergraduate research opportunities.




Ph:  (919) 962-2119    Fax:  (919) 962-2537

Office: 304B Davie Hall

UNC — Department of Psychology — Behavioral Neuroscience Program

Cognition & Addiction Biopsychology Laboratory (cablab)

Principal Investigator:

Research Assistants:







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Postdoctoral Fellows:

Graduate Students:

Rotation Students:

Chris Smith, B.S.


BS: Furman University (Neuroscience)

Doctoral student  in Neurobiology Curriculum

My research consists of using behavioral and functional MRI techniques to investigate differences observed between late adolescents and adults in Now versus Later decision-making, a quantifiable measure of impulsiveness. We speculate that immaturity in frontal circuits and relatively increased signaling in striato-limbic structures promote impulsive decision making in late adolescents. In addition, we seek to determine whether sub-clinical heavy alcohol use is associated with abnormalities in these neural circuits. In addition, I am investigating the role of various genetic polymorphisms that impact monoamine signaling in the brain and their relationship to Now versus Later decision making and working memory processes.

Nicole Seider


Theresa McKim, B.S.


BS: Penn State University (Biobehavioral Health)

Doctoral student  in Behavioral Neuroscience Program

Why do some behaviors or routines persist and form intractable habits? How do we overwrite a behavior that has become habitual? My research focuses on answering these questions by examining the establishment and replacement of habitual responding in addiction. Although habits can promote efficient interaction with the environment by freeing cognitive resources for more demanding tasks, these associative learning mechanisms can go awry to result in compulsive drug use behavior.  In the context of addiction, these behaviors continue to occur despite the presence of negative consequences. We are currently exploring the neurobiological basis of habit formation and the ability to change these behaviors in individuals with a history of addiction by using behavioral, genetic, and fMRI techniques. Other areas of research that I am interested in exploring include the role of stress in potentiating habit formation, the use of feedback to adapt learning behavior, and behavioral patterns of drug use that predict pharmacological treatment outcomes.

Audrey Verde, B.S.


BS: NC State University (Biochemistry, Psychology, Microbiology) Doctoral student  in Neurobiology Curriculum, MD-PhD Program

Michael Parrish


Cherise Green


Monica Faulkner, B.S., M.A.


BS: Florida A&M University (Psychology)

MA: American University (Experimental Psychology)

Doctoral student  in Behavioral Neuroscience Program

My research interests focus on the role of cognition in addiction. Using both behavioral and fMRI techniques, we are able to investigate the neurobiology of addiction and specific cognitive processes of interest, such as attention. Research has shown that the excess allocation of attention to images or words that are related to an addict’s drug of choice is associated with their desire/ability to pursue and maintain sobriety. I seek to better understand this process by investigating the role of various neurotransmitters in attention and addiction severity using both basic science and translational research methods.

My ultimate goal in this line of research is to combine functional and effective connectivity MRI analyses with behavioral genetics data to better understand the neurobiology of decision making, development, alcohol use disorders (AUDs), and AUD treatment effects.

Conrad Baldner, B.A., M.S.


BA: NC State University (Psychology)

MA: Virginia Tech University (Developmental & Biological Psychology)

I have assisted in projects which focus on the effects of substance abuse on 1) attention to substance-related vs. non-substance related cues, and 2) learning novel behaviors to well-learned and freshly learned stimuli.

Samantha Dove


Scott Oppler


Samuel Marsán


Melisa Menceloglu