Leslie Matuszewich

Leslie Matuszewich, Ph.D. 
Department Chair
Associate Professor of Psychology

Fax: (815)753-8088
Office: PM 420


Ph.D.: SUNY Buffalo, 1997


The current focus of my research is to investigate the effects of stress and stimulants on brain neurochemistry and behavior.  Our laboratory has demonstrated that rats exposed to unpredictable stress for ten days show altered neurotransmitter activity as measured through microdialysis with high performance liquid chromatography when challenged with a novel acute stressor or with stimulants.  Current studies are aimed at elucidating the changes that account for the altered neurotransmitter release and the effects of the altered neurotransmitter release on neural circuits associated with rewarding and aversive experiences.  We have begun to assess the long-term effects of childhood exposure to stimulants, such as methampetamines or Ritalin, on adult learning and other motivated behaviors.


  • Psyc 603 Biopsychology
  • Psyc 305 Research methods
  • Psyc 481 Psychopharmacology
  • Psyc 300 Brain and Behavior


  • Gouirand, A.M. & Matuszewich, L. (2005) The effects of chronic unpredictable stress on male rats in the water maze. Physiology & Behavior86, 21-31.
  • Matuszewich, L., Karney, J.J., Carter, S.R., Janasik, S.P., O’Brien, J.L. &. Friedman, R.D. (2006) The delayed effects of chronic unpredictable stress on anxiety measures. Physiology & Behavior.
  • McFadden, L.M. & Matuszewich, L. (2007) The effects of methamphetamine exposure during preadolescence on male and female rats in the water maze. Behavioural Brain Research, 185: 99-109.
  • Matuszewich, L. & Yamamoto, B.K.  (2004)  Chronic stress augments the long-term and acute effects of methamphetamine.  Neuroscience, 124, 637-646.
  • Matuszewich, L., Filon, M.E., Finn, D.A., & Yamamoto, B.K.  (2002)  Altered neurotransmitter responses to immobilization stress following 5-HT depletions with MDMA.  Neuroscience, 110(1), 41-48.
  • Matuszewich, L., Lorrain, D.S., & Hull, E.M. (2000)  Dopamine alterations in the medial preoptic area of female rats in response to hormonal manipulations and sexual activity.  Behavioral Neuroscience, 114(4), 772-782.

Recent Conference Presentations with students from Northern Illinois University:

  • Friedman, R.D., McFee, K.L., Gericke, K., Reynolds, R.A., McFadden, L.M. & Matuszewich, L. (2006) Delayed effects of chronic unpredictable stress on acquisition of the Morris water maze task. Society for Neuroscience, Atlanta, GA.
  • McFadden, L.M., Risley, L., and Matuszewich, L. (2007) Preadolescence Methamphetamine Exposure Alters Cocaine-Stimulated Locomotor Activity and Dopamine Transporter Levels in Rats. Society for Neuroscience, SanDiego, CA.
  • Cali, D.F., McFee, K., McFadden, L.M. & Matuszewich, L. (2007) The effects of housing condition on spatial memory following exposure to chronic unpredictable stress. Society for Neuroscience, SanDiego, CA.
  • McDonough, S., Mitzelfelt, M.S., McFadden, L.M. & Matuszewich, L. (2008) Sex differences on spatial memory following exposure to chronic unpredictable stress. Society for Neuroscience Chicago Chapter. Chicago, IL.


  • National Institute of Drug Abuse, Small Grant RO3 DA016947-01    
    2003-2005, “Impact of Stress on Cocaine Withdrawal Behaviors.”   
  • Northern Illinois University, Graduate School, Research & Artistry Award  
    2003 “Biochemical and Neurochemical effects of chronic stress on male rats.”