Stephanie Groman, PhD

Assistant Professor, Department of Neuroscience


Research Interests:

The Groman Lab is focused on understanding the biological and neurodevelopmental mechanisms of decision making in normal and abnormal states. Our goal is to obtain different measurements across diverse levels of analysis in order to generate mechanistic links between genes and behavior so that our work in animals can be readily translated to humans. For example, our studies integrate sophisticated behavioral approaches with computational, viral, neuroimaging, proteomic, and genomic techniques to identify the neurobiological mechanisms of addiction. We are particularly interested in identifying biomarkers of addiction susceptibility – or biological phenotypes that predict the risk for developing an addiction – that can be used in human populations to develop more effective addiction prevention strategies.


Specific projects and areas of interest include:

Addiction susceptibility is mediated by genetic and environmental factors. One of our projects – funded by a NIDA K01 award – will isolate the signaling pathways that are associated with genetic addiction risk from those that are associated with environmental addiction risk.

Our previous work has found that decision-making is predictive as well as affected by drug use. In our NIDA U01 award, we are using this decision-making framework to isolate the neurobiological mechanisms of susceptibility from those that are disrupted by oxycodone use.

The brain undergoes a profound reorganization during adolescence and abnormalities in these developmental processes may have enduring impact on brain function. Our ongoing work is examining how neurodevelopmental mechanisms during adolescence are related to addiction susceptibility and other abnormal behaviors in adulthood. 

Selected Publications:

  • Groman S.M., Lee D., and Taylor J.R. (2021) Unlocking the reinforcement-learning circuits of the orbitofrontal cortex. In press at Behavioral Neuroscience.
  • Gianessi C.A., Groman S.M., and Taylor J.R. (2021) The effects of fatty acid amidehydrolase inhibition and monacyclglycerol lipase inhibition on habit formation in mice. European Journal of Neuroscience. Epub ahead of print.
  • Moin Afshar M.A.*, Keip A.J.*, Taylor J.R., Lee D., and Groman S.M. (2020) Adolescent-related changes in reinforcement learning and decision making in the rat. Journal of Neuroscience. 40(30):5857-5870. * indicates equal author contribution. 
  • Groman S.M., Hillmer A., Liu H., Fowles K., Holden D., Morris E.D., Lee D., and Taylor J.R. (2020) Dysregulation of decision-making related to mGluR5, but not D3 receptor, availability following cocaine self-administration in rats. Biological Psychiatry. 88(10):777-787.
  • Groman, S.M. (2020) Astrocytic activation to restore goal-directed behaviors. Biological Psychiatry. 88(10):744-745.
  • Bond C.W., Foscue E., Groman S.M., Trinko J.R., Taylor J.R., and DiLeone R.J. (2020) Medial nucleus accumbens projections to the ventral tegmental area control food consumption. Journal of Neuroscience. 40(24): 4727-4738.
  • Groman S.M., Hillmer A., Liu H., Fowles K., Holden D., Morris E.D., Lee D., and Taylor J.R.(2020) Midbrain D3 receptor availability predicts escalation in cocaine self-administration. Biological Psychiatry. 88(10):767-777. 
  • Reed E.J., Uddenberg S., Mathys C.D., Taylor J.R., Groman S.M., and Corlett P.R. (2020) Expecting the unexpected: the paranoid style of belief updating across species. In press at eLIFE.
  • Groman S.M. The neurobiology of impulsive decision making and reinforcement learning in non-human animals. (2021) Recent advances in research on impulsivity and impulsive behaviors. Edited by Harriet De Wit and J. David Jentsch.
  • Groman S.M., Keistler, C., Keip A., Hammarlund E., DiLeone R.J., Piitenger C., Lee D.,and Taylor J.R. (2019) Orbitofrontal circuits make distinct contributions to flexible decision-making. Neuron. 103(4):734-746.
  • Gianessi C., Groman S.M., Thompson S.L., Jiang M., van der Stelt M., and Taylor J.R (2019) Endocannabinoid contributions to alcohol habits and motivation: relevance to treatment. Addiction Biology. 25(3).
  • Groman S.M., Massi B., Mathias S.R., Lee D., and Taylor J.R. (2019) Model- free and model-based influences in addiction. Biological Psychiatry. 85(11): 936-945.
  • Groman S.M., Massi B., Mathias S., Curry D., Lee D., and Taylor J.R. (2019) Neurochemical and behavioral dissections of decision-making in a rodent multi-stage task. Journal of Neuroscience. 39(2): 295-306.
  • Gianessi C., Groman S.M., and Taylor J.R. (2018) Bidirectional modulation of food habit expression by the endocannabinoid system. European Journal of Neuroscience. 49(12):1610-1622.
  • Groman S.M., Rich K.M., Smith N.J., Lee D., and Taylor J.R. (2017) Chronic exposure to methamphetamine disrupts reinforcement-based decision-making in rats. Neuropsychopharmacology. 43(4): 770-780.
  • Rapanelli M., Frick L.R., Xu M., Groman S.M., Jindachomthong K., Kamamaki N., Tanahira C., Taylor J.R., and Pittenger C. (2017) Targeted interneuron depletion in the dorsal striatum produces autism-like behavioral abnormalities in male but not female mice. Biological Psychiatry. 82(3): 194-203.
  • Kaneko G., Sanganahalli B.G., Groman S.M., Wang H., Coman D., Rao J., Herman P., Jiang L., Rich K., de Graaf R.A., Taylor J.R., and Hyder F. (2016) Hypofrontality and posterior hyperactivity observed in early schizophrenia: Multi-modal characterizations by imaging and behavior. Biological Psychiatry. 81(6): 503-513.
  • Groman S.M., Smith N.J., Petrulli J.R., Massi B., Chen L., Ropchan J., Huang Y., Lee D., Morris E.D., and Taylor J.R. (2016) Dopamine D3 receptor availability is associated with inflexible decision making. Journal of Neuroscience.36(25):6732- 41.
  • Elsworth J.D., Jentsch J.D., Groman S.M., Roth R.H., Redmond D.E., and Leranth C. (2015) Low circulating levels of bisphenol-A induce cognitive deficits and loss of asymmetric spine synapses in the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex and hippocampus of adult male monkeys. Journal of Comparative Neurology, 523(8): 1248-57.
  • Groman S.M., James A.S., Seu E., Tran S., Clark T.A., Harpster S.N., Crawford M., Burtner J., Feiler K., Roth R.H., Elsworth J.D., London E.D., and Jentsch J.D. (2014) In the blink of an eye: Relating positive-feedback sensitivity to striatal dopamine D2 receptors through blink rate. Journal of Neuroscience, 34(43):14443-54.
  • Elsworth J.D., Groman S.M., Jentsch J.D., Leranth C. Redmond D.E., and Roth R.H. (2014) Primate phencyclidine (PCP) model of schizophrenia: sex-specific effect on cognition, spine synapse number and dopamine turnover in dorsolateral prefrontal cortex. International Journal of Neuropsychopharmacology. 18(6).
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