Joseph Troisi II


+1(603) 641-7198



1990-1992 - Post-Doctoral Fellow Behavioral Pharmacology, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine
1990 - Ph.D., Experimental Psychology, Temple University
1984 - B.A., Psychology, Temple University

  • Research Interests and Background

    Professor Troisi's translational research in behavioral pharmacology investigates extinction of motivated voluntary behavior (and the interaction with involuntary behavior) under nicotine, alcohol, and recently caffeine, to simulate how other internal states (stress, hunger, thirst, emotions, craving and other drug effects) play roles in relapse behavior and its inhibition (i.e., treatment). His current work concerns conditioning factors with drug mixtures and how environmental stimuli modulate such internal stimulus effects during extinction and relapse-like phenomena. Professor Troisi recently completed an NIH (NH-INBRE) grant that addressed some of these issues.

    He taught previously as an instructor and as a graduate/teaching assistant during his graduate training in Experimental Psychology at Temple University. There, his research focused on endogenous opioid mediation and Pavlovian conditioning factors of Learned Helplessness (a model of human depression). His Ph.D. dissertation thesis assessed hierarchical control of stimuli in Pavlovian facilitation and occasion-setting, which he has been applying to the study of operant (voluntary behavior) drug discrimination.

    Prior to arriving at Saint Anselm College, Professor Troisi completed a two-year Post-Doctoral fellowship training program in human behavioral pharmacology/substance abuse at the Behavioral Pharmacology Research Unit (BPRU) at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine where he worked with recreational drug abusers and studied human drug discrimination and drug abuse liability assessment of sedative/hypnotic drugs.

    His general research interests are rooted in, Behavioral Analysis, associative learning and Pavlovian/operant interaction. Professor Troisi's current research interests in behavioral pharmacology include Pavlovian and operant processes in drug discrimination. Other work in this area includes the impact of environmental influences on drug tolerance, and drug discrimination.

    Over the years, Professor Troisi has collaborated with colleagues at Kings College London England, Exeter University UK, University of Kentucky, Northeastern University Center for Drug Discovery, and has recently established connections for potential projects with colleagues at TUFTS University Veterinary School. He has served as an invited reviewer for several peer-reviewed journals in animal learning and behavioral pharmacology.

  • Courses

    General Psychology I-II
    Introduces the student to the science of human and animal behavior. The scientific basis of psychology is examined. Basic topics covered are biological and cognitive foundations of behavior, individual differences, measurement techniques, personality theories and development, motivation and emotion, normal vs. abnormal behavior, perception, and learning. Prerequisite: Psychology 9 or Psychology 10.

    Experimental Psychology: Research Methods and Design I-II
    Methods of designing and conducting behavioral experiments. Psychological methods, data collection procedures and analysis are presented in laboratory exercises. The second semester is devoted to laboratory projects in which close cooperation between students and faculty results in completing individual studies.

    History and Systems of Psychology
    The historical roots of the development of modern psychology are entertained. Major areas include the behavioral and cognitive revolutions. Additionally psychoanalysis and reactions from the developing field are considered. Current topics and their roots include neuroscience, perception and intelligence. Prerequisite: Psychology 9-10 or permission of the instructor.

    Psychology of Learning and Motivation
    Major topics include classical and operant conditioning and their applications. Associative, cognitive and vicarious learning are also considered. Additional topics include motivation, drives and incentives. Major theorists and their contributions to learning are discussed. Prerequisite: Psychology 9-10 or permission of the instructor.

    Psychology of Addiction and Dependency
    The psychological aspects of addiction and dependency are surveyed. The concept of addiction is entertained as related to the physical and psychological aspects of addictive behaviors. Substances that modify human behavior and emotions are studied as they relate to psychopathology and the functioning of the healthy individual. Psychological diagnosis and treatment of addiction and dependency are stressed.

  • Resources
  • Research Lab

    olab2.jpgWelcome to the Operant and Behavioral Pharmacology Research Lab

    This is a multipurpose teaching/research lab designed for student and faculty research collaboration in the area of psychobiology. The research conducted here involves basic learning studies in classical (Pavlovian) & operant (Skinnerian) conditioning. These principles are applied to the study of pharmacology and behavior - hence Behavioral Pharmacology, an interdisciplinary field which in part studies experimental models of substance abuse.

    Some of the specific studies conducted here involve drug tolerance, drug discrimination, alcohol self-administration, circadian rhythm, complex contextual control of behavior and drugs, & behavioral extinction. This last area may be useful for drug rehabilitation treatment since environmental cues are correlated (predict) drug effects. We welcome ideas from students for possible research projects in collaboration with faculty.