Larry D. Reid

Professor of Psychology and Neuroscience, Cognitive Science

Larry Reid has made significant contributions to the psychology and neuroscience of pleasure. Some of his most influential work is cited often, including several articles  in Physiological Psychology, Pharmacology Biochemistry & Behavior, Alcohol, and the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

“Throughout my career, beginning with my doctoral dissertation, I have been interested in the psychology and neuroscience of pleasure,” said Reid.  “For many years, I studied the “pleasure-producing” effects of direct electrical stimulation of the brain in laboratory subjects. I developed a novel way of measuring “pleasure” among rats, the conditioned place preference test (a widely used test used, for example, in assaying the emotional effects of drugs in laboratory animals). The interest in pleasure led to an interest in studying the behaviors associated with the activity of endogenous opioid system (for example, I verified that the endogenous opioid system’s activity was involved with eating and with the intake of alcoholic beverages). Such studies provided the basic science for the development of medicines to curb alcoholism.”

Reid’s current interest is in improving the treatment of alcoholism, by using knowledge of cognitive science, in helping to develop computer-assisted game-like programs to augment current therapies. He has a particular interest in the unique effects of alcohol in girls and women.

Reid is a fellow in the American Psychological Association, the International Behavioral Neuroscience Society, and the Association for Psychological Science.


Ph.D., Psychology, University of Utah

M.S., Psychology, University of Missouri

B.S., Biology, Central Missouri State College

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