Ben Richardson, PhD

Assistant Professor

    About me



    Ben Richardson <>

    Research Interest and Specialties

    The nervous system is complex and we still understand relatively little about the cause of or how to treat many neuropsychiatric disorders, like Autism, addiction, or schizophrenia. The two goals of our lab are to 1) develop a more complete understanding of certain neurocircuits and 2) use that information to inform we view and assess environmental and genetic contributions to neuropsychiatric disease.

    Anatomy & Function of Sensorimotor Circuits: Our lab is interested in understanding the detailed workings of sensorimotor processing circuits, especially those that involve the cerebellum functioning outside of the motor system. A growing body of evidence suggests that the cerebellum may be involved in non-motor functions through its interactions with brain areas involved in reward, attention and emotion. We are currently using a combination of electrophysiology, histochemistry, viral tract tracing, transgenic mice, and optogenetics to develop detailed knowledge of some of these poorly neural pathways.

    Novel Roles for Cerebellum in Disease: The expanding view of brain areas and functions that involve the cerebellum establish a rich network of interactions by which cerebellar dysfunction may impact a broad array of neural functions, processes and behaviors. We are working to identify the mechanisms by which changes or effects in the cerebellum may contribute to Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), alcoholism, and deficits in auditory processing. This work involves the use of whole animal and brain slice electrophysiology, histochemistry, optogenetics and assessment of behaviors in a number of wildtype and transgenic mouse lines.



    Education & training

    Undergraduate Degree
    BS Psychology, Illinois College, Jacksonville IL 2008; Ph.D. Pharmacology/Neuroscience, SIU School of Medicine, Springfield IL 2012


    Peer Reviewed Publications:
    1. Richardson BD, Sotille S, Caspary DM. (2020) “Mechanisms of GABAergic and cholinergic neurotransmission in auditory thalamus: Impact of aging.” Hearing Research.
    2. Rossi DJ and Richardson BD. (2018) "The Cerebellar GABAAR System as a Potential Target for Treating Alcohol Use Disorders." The Neural Circuitry of Alcohol. Eds. David Lovinger and Kathy Grant.
    3. Sambo D, Lin M, Owens W, Lebowitz J, Richardson B, Jagnarine D, Madhur S, Rodriguez M, Alonge T, Ali M, Katz, J, Yan L, Febo M, Henry K, Bruijnzeel A, Daws L., Khoshbouei, H. (2017) The Sigma-1 receptor modulates methamphetamine dysregulation of dopamine neurotransmission. Nat Commun.8(1):2228.
    4. McClendon E, Shaver D, Degener-O'Brien K, Gong X, Nguyen T, Hoerder-Suabedissen A, Molnar A, Mohr C, Richardson BD, Rossi D, and Back SA. (2017) Transient Hypoxemia Chronically Disrupts Maturation of Preterm Fetal Ovine Subplate Neuron Arborization and Activity J Neurosi. 37(49): 11912-
    5. Richardson BD, Rossi DJ. (2017) Ethanol enhances synaptic inhibition of cerebellar unipolar brush cells via pre- and postsynaptic mechanisms. J Neurophys. 118(1): 267-279.
    6. Sirohi S, Richardson BD, Vancleef A, Rossi DJ, Davis JF. (2017) Impact of Roux-en-Y gastric bypass surgery on appetite, alcohol intake behaviors, and midbrain ghrelin signaling in the rat. Obesity. 25:1228-1236.
    7. Arguello AA, Richardson BD, Hall JL, Wang R, Hodges MA, Mitchell MP, Stuber GD, Rossi DJ, Fuchs RA. (2017) Role of lateral orbital frontal cortex-basolateral amygdala circuit in cue-induced cocaine-seeking behavior. Neuropsychopharm.42(3): 727-735.
    8. Cai R, Richardson BD, Caspary DM. (2016) Responses to predictable vs. random temporally complex stimuli form single units in auditory thalamus: impact of aging and anesthesia. J Neurosci. 36(41):10696-10706.
    9. Kaplan JS, Nipper M, Richardson BD, Jensen J, Finn DA, Rossi DJ. (2016) Pharmacologically counteracting a phenotypic difference in cerebellar GABAA receptor response to alcohol prevents excessive alcohol consumption in high alcohol consuming rodent genotype. J Neurosci. 36(35): 9019-9025.
    10. Richardson BD, Saha K, Krout D, Cabrera E, Felts B, Henry LK, Swant J, Zou MF, Newman AH, Khoshbouei H. (2016) Membrane potential shapes regulation of dopamine transporter trafficking at the plasma membrane. Nature Commun. 7(10423).
    11. Saha K, Sambo D, Richardson BD, Lin LM, Butler B, Villarroel L, Khoshbouei H. (2014) Intracellular methamphetamine prevents the dopamine-induced enhancement of neuronal firing. J Biol Chem. 289(32):22246-57.
    12. Richardson BD, Hancock KH, Caspary DM. (2013) Single unit novelty detection in auditory thalamus of awake rat. J Neurophys. 110(8):1892-902.
    13. Richardson BD, Ling LL, Uteshev VV, Caspary DM. (2013) Reduced GABAAR-mediated tonic inhibition in aged rat auditory thalamus. J Neurosci. 33(3). 1218-1227.
    14. Richardson BD, Brozoski TJ, Ling LL, Caspary DM. (2012) Targeting inhibitory neurotransmission in tinnitus. Brain Res. 1485:77-87.
    15. Richardson BD, Ling LL, Uteshev VV, Caspary DM. (2011) Extrasynaptic GABAA receptors and tonic inhibition in rat auditory thalamus. PLoS ONE. 6(1):e16508.
    16. Brozoski TJ, Caspary DM, Bauer CA, Richardson BD. (2010) The effect of supplemental dietary taurine on tinnitus and auditory discrimination in an animal model. Hear Res. 270(1-2): 71-80.


    1. Richardson BD (PI), National Institutes of Health NIDCD, Network modulators of auditorythalamocortical feedback inhibition, 8/3/2020-7/31/2023


    Outstanding Research Mentor Award, University of Washington – WWAMI, 2019
    Grass Foundation Fellow, Marine Biological Laboratory, 2017
    Outstanding Poster, Behavior, Biology and Chemistry: Translational Research in Addiction, 2014
    Postdoctoral Travel Award, Behavior, Biology and Chemistry: Translational Research in Addiction, 2014
    Graduate Student Travel Award, Society for Neuroscience, 2011