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Washington State University
College of Arts and Sciences Department of Psychology

Michael M. Morgan


Ph.D. University of California, Los Angeles, 1989

Contact Information

Office: CLS 208G (Vancouver Campus)
Phone: (360) 546-9726

More Information…

Classes Taught

  • Psychology 265: Biopsychological Effects of Alcohol and Other Drugs
  • Psychology 372: Biological Basis of Behavior
  • Psychology 401: Historical Development of Psychology
  • Psychology 504: History of Psychology: Theoretical and Scientific Foundations

Research Interests

  • Neural Mechanisms of Pain Modulation
  • Animal models of opioid withdrawal

Pain is the most costly medical problem in the United States. Pain treatments are limited by poor analgesic efficacy or severe side effects (e.g., opioid dependence). My lab uses behavioral pharmacological approaches to address this problem in three ways: First, we are developing new ways to assess pain in animals such as measuring depression of activity (e.g., decreases in wheel running) to more closely mimic the effects of pain in people. Second, we are studying how the midbrain periaqueductal gray contributes to opioid analgesia and tolerance. Third, we are developing novel methods to assess spontaneous opioid withdrawal in rats in order to create a better model of opioid withdrawal in humans. Our primary goal is to lay the groundwork for the development of more effective treatments for pain and opioid withdrawal. 

Current Publications

Morgan, M.M. & Ataras, K. (2021). Morphine restores and naloxone-precipitated withdrawal depresses wheel running in rats with hindpaw inflammation. Pharmacology, Biochemistry, & Behavior, 209:173251. PMID: 34363827

Stickney, J.D. & Morgan M.M. (2021). Comparative benefits of social housing and buprenorphine on wheel running depressed by morphine withdrawal in rats. Psychopharmacology, 238(10), 2895-2903. PMID: 34247265

Dunford, J., Lee, A. T., & Morgan, M. M. (2021). Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) exacerbates inflammatory bowel disease in adolescent and adult female rats. Journal of Pain, 22:1040-7. PMID: 33727159

Morgan, M. M., Peecher, D. L, & Streicher, J. M. (2021). Use of home cage wheel running to assess the behavioural effects of administering a mu/delta opioid receptor heterodimer antagonist for spontaneous morphine withdrawal in the rat. Behavioural Brain Research, 397:112953. PMID: 33031872

Stickney, J. S. & Morgan, M. M. (2021). Social housing promotes recovery of wheel running depressed by inflammatory pain and morphine withdrawal in male rats. Behavioural Brain Research, 396:112912. PMID: 32949642