Leslie Matuszewich

Research Interests

The current focus of my research is to investigate the effects of stress and stimulants on brain neurochemistry and behavior.  Our laboratory has demonstrated that rats exposed to unpredictable stress for ten days show altered neurotransmitter activity as measured through microdialysis with high performance liquid chromatography when challenged with a novel acute stressor or with stimulants.  Current studies are aimed at elucidating the changes that account for the altered neurotransmitter release and the effects of the altered neurotransmitter release on neural circuits associated with rewarding and aversive experiences.  We have begun to assess the long-term effects of childhood exposure to stimulants, such as methampetamines or Ritalin, on adult learning and other motivated behaviors.

Frequently Taught Classes

  • Psyc 603 Biopsychology
  • Psyc 305 Research methods
  • Psyc 481 Psychopharmacology
  • Psyc 300 Brain and Behavior

Representative Publications

  • McFadden, L.M., Yamamoto, B.K. & Matuszewich, L. (2011) Alterations in adult behavioral responses to cocaine and dopamine transporters following juvenile exposure to methamphetamine. Behavioural Brain Research, 216(2): 726-30.
  • McFadden, L.M., Paris, J.J., Mizelfelt, M.S., McDonough, S., Frye, C.A. & Matuszewich, L. (2011) Sex-dependent effects of chronic unpredictable stress in the water maze. Physiology and Behavior, 102, 266-275.
  • McFadden, L.M., Carter, S. & Matuszewich, L. (2012) Juvenile Exposure to Methamphetamine Attenuates Behavioral and Neurochemical Responses to Methamphetamine in Adult Rats. Behavioural Brain Research, 229, 118-122.
  • Moenk, M.D. & Matuszewich, L. (2012) Juvenile but not Adult Methamphetamine Exposure Improves Performance in the Morris Water Maze in Male Rats. International Journal of Developmental Neuroscience, 30(4):325-31. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ijdevneu.2012.01.006 PMID:22306373.
  • Anderson, E.M., Moenk, M.D., Barbaro, L., Clarke, D.A., & Matuszewich, L. (2013) Effects of pretraining and water temperature on female rats' performance in the Morris water maze. Physiology and Behavior, 122: 216-221.. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.physbeh.2013.04.001 PMID: 23624154
  • Matuszewich, L., McFadden, L.M., Friedman. R.D., & Frye, C.A. (2014) Neurochemical and behavioral effects of chronic unpredictable stress. Behavioural Pharmacology, 25, 557-566. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/FBP.0000000000000061. PMID: 25003946
  • Matuszewich, L. Carter, S., Anderson, E.A, Friedman, R.D. & McFadden, L,M. (2014) Persistent Behavioral and Neurochemical Sensitization to an Acute Injection of Methamphetamine Following Unpredictable Stress. Behavioral Brain Research, 272: 308-313. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.bbr.2014.07.013. PMID: 25036423.
  • Köppen, J.R., Blankenship, P., Blackwell, A.A., Winter, S.S., Stuebing, S. S., Matuszewich, L. & Wallace, D.G. (2015) Comparison of direction and distance estimation across spatial tasks: Absence of sexually dimorphic self-movement cues processing. Learning and Motivation, 51:11-24. http://doi.org/10.1016/j.lmot.2015.03.001
  • McNeal, N., Anderson E.M., Moenk, D., Trahanas, D., Matuszewich, & Grippo, A.J. (2017) Social isolation alters central nervous system monoamine content in prairie voles following acute restraint. Social Neuroscience, Jan 09: 1-11. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/17470919.2016.1276473
  • Anderson, E.M., McWaters, M.L., McFadden, L.M. & Matuszewich, L. (2017) Defensive burying as an ethological approach to studying anxiety: Influence of juvenile methamphetamine on adult defensive burying behavior in rats. Learning and Motivation. epub

Recent Conference Presentations with students from Northern Illinois University

  • Anderson, E.M., McWaters, M. & Matuszewich, L. (2014) Effects of chronic stress on methamphetamine-stimulated behaviors and striatal dopamine release in female rats. Society for Neuroscience, Washington, DC.
  • Anderson, E.M. McWaters, M., Bond, Z., Mullen, N., Ahmad, Z. & Matuszewich, L. (2015) A Study of Motivation for a Sucrose Reward: Possible Sex Differences. Society for Neuroscience, Chicago IL.
  • McWaters, M., Anderson, E.M. & Matuszewich, L. (2015) Stress-induced anxiety and c-Fos immunoreactivity in adulthood following chronic juvenile methylphenidate exposure. Society for Neuroscience, Chicago, IL.
  • Anderson, E.M. McWaters, M., Mullen, N., Bond, Z., & Matuszewich, L. (2016) Influence of Stress on Responding for a Reward in Rats. Midwest Psychological Association, Chicago, IL.
  • Bond, Z., Adams, E., Mullen, N., Anderson, E., & McWaters, M. (Leslie Matuszewich, Faculty Sponsor). (2016) Effects of metyrapone on stress-induced alterations of sucrose responding. Midwest Psychological Association, Chicago, IL.
  • Anderson, E.M. McWaters, M., & Matuszewich, L. (2017) Influence of Gonadal Hormones on Motivation for a Sucrose Reward in Female Rats: Alterations following Exposure to Haloperidol and Apomorphine. Experimental Biology, Chicago, IL.
  • McWaters, M., Anderson, E.M., & Matuszewich, L. (2017) Effects of Juvenile Methylphenidate on Long-Term Retention in Adulthood. Experimental Biology, Chicago, IL.
  • Bond, Z.E., McWaters, M., Anderson, E.M. & Matuszewich, L. (2017) Use of Autoshaping measures to predict motivation for sucrose rewards. Society for Neuroscience, Washington D.C.

Representative Grants

  • National Institute of Mental Health, R15MH099521-01
    2012-2015 Technical Support for “Biomarkers for posttraumatic stress in college women following a campus mass shooting.”
  • National Institute of Mental Health, RAPID Assessment Post-Impact of Disaster
    2008-2010 Co-I for “Risk and Protective Factors for Adjustment of College Women After a Mass Shooting”
  • National Institute of Drug Abuse, Small Grant RO3 DA016947-01    
    2003-2005, “Impact of Stress on Cocaine Withdrawal Behaviors.”   
  • Northern Illinois University, Graduate School, Research & Artistry Award  
    2003 “Biochemical and Neurochemical effects of chronic stress on male rats.”

Associate Professor, Neuroscience and Behavior

PM 420


Ph.D.: SUNY Buffalo, 1997

Undergraduate Research Lab Application