- 128 Medical Behavioral Science Building
Dr. Wesley is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Behavioral Science of the University of Kentucky College of Medicine (UK-COM). He is a multidisciplinary investigator trained in psychology (B.S.; Berry College), physiology and pharmacology (Ph.D.; Wake Forrest University with Dr. Linda J. Porrino), behavioral economics and computational neuroscience (Postdoctoral training; Virginia Tech with Drs. Warren K. Bickel and P. Read Montague). Dr. Wesley uses neuroimaging, noninvasive brain stimulation, clinical pharmacology and behavioral techniques to understand neurobehavioral dysfunctions existing in many clinical disorders, especially those characterized by a lack of volitional control over thoughts, feelings and actions. His primary research focuses on deficits in decision-making and affective processes in individuals with substance use disorders, however, he is also interested in other conditions including stroke recovery and post-traumatic stress disorder. In 2016, Dr. Wesley submitted 4 research grants: (1) an extramural K01 as PI to examine the ability of noninvasive brain stimulation to mitigate the unwanted cognitive side effects of cannabis; (2) an intramural BRAIN Seed Grant as Co-PI submitted to the NSF EPSCoR Brain Research Consortium in the UK College of Engineering to develop protocols for simultaneous recording and manipulation of human neural network function using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS); (3) an extramural P50 center grant as Co-I examining individual differences in the interactions of drug effects and social expectancies; and (4) an intramural Multidisciplinary Value Program grant as Co-I submitted to UK-COM to examine the ability of tDCS to improve motor function in stroke patients with severe hemiparesis. In addition, Dr. Wesley provided expertise in multivariate pattern analysis of neuroimaging data as a consultant on a successfully funded NSF grant awarded to researchers at the Georgia State University Neuroscience Institute. Dr. Wesley also submitted an application for the third renewal of his NIH Extramural Loan Repayment Program award for Individuals from Disadvantaged Backgrounds. In October of 2016, Dr. Wesley and a team of three collaborators from UK were awarded a monetary prize (1 of 10 nationally) from the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) to support the development of his idea to generate a biofeedback and brain stimulation device to study and treat mental dysfunctions. The team is currently working with UK to establish product viability and develop a working prototype, which will support the foundation of a biotech start-up company. In 2016, Dr. Wesley authored 3 peer-reviewed publications, including a first-authored manuscript examining neurofunctional abnormalities in emotional information processing in long-term heavy cannabis users. Dr. Wesley presented at the annual meeting on the College of Problems on Drug Dependence (CPDD) and participated in the CPDD community outreach activities during the conference. In addition, Dr. Wesley attended a symposium on the computational modeling of maladaptive decision-making in New York. In 2016, Dr. Wesley was also selected to be the Program Chair for the 2018 American Psychological Association Division 28 (Psychopharmacology and Substance Abuse) meeting in San Francisco. Dr. Wesley served as an ad-hoc reviewer for 3 scientific journals, and presented 3 invited research lectures, including one sponsored by the UK Department of Psychology. Dr. Wesley mentored a student participating in the 2016 Summer Training in Alcohol Research program sponsored by the Department of Psychology, and he was happy to learn that his 2015 mentee was accepted into a competitive neuroscience graduate program at the University of Alabama. Dr. Wesley also accepted a role as an Outside Committee Advisor on an F32 proposal for a graduate student in the UK Department of Psychology who is proposing to incorporate neuroimaging techniques into his research.
Dr. Wesley uses neuroimaging, noninvasive brain stimulation, clinical pharmacology and behavioral techniques to understand neurobehavioral dysfunctions existing in many clinical disorders, especially those characterized by a lack of volitional control over thoughts, feelings and actions. His primary research focuses on deficits in decision-making and affective processes in individuals with substance use disorders, however, he is also interested in other conditions with overlapping symptomatology including stroke and post-traumatic stress disorder
Principal Investigator, UK Center for Clinical and Translational Science,
Brain stimulation as a treatment for cannabis use disorder
Co-Investigator, R01 DA036550, National Institutes of Health, NIDA,
Human lab screening of pregabalin & tiagabine for cannabis dependence
Co-Investigator, P50 DA005312, National Institutes of Health, NIDA
CDART: Center for drug abuse research translation.
Recipient and Principal Investigator, Loan Repayment Program, National Institutes of Health, NIMHD
Consultant, 1542848, National Science Foundation, INSPIRE
Neural and Genetic Factors Underlying Individual and Phylogenetic Variation in Communication
Wesley MJ*, Vilares I*, Ahn WY, Bonnie RJ, Hoffman M, Jones OD, Morse SJ, Yaffe G, Lohrenz T, Montague PR (2017) Predicting the knowledge-recklessness distinction in the human brain. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. 114(12): 3222-7. *Equal Contribution
Wesley MJ, Lile JA, Fillmore MT, Porrino LJ (2017) Neurophysiological capacity in a working memory task differentiates dependent from nondependent heavy drinkers and controls. Drug and Alcohol Dependence. In press.
Wesley MJ, Lile JA, Hanlon CA, Porrino LJ (2016) Abnormal medial prefrontal cortex activity in heavy cannabis users during conscious emotional evaluation. Psychopharmacology (Berl). 233(6): 1035-44.
Lile JA, Wesley MJ, Kelly TH, Hays LR (2016). Separate and combined effects of gabapentin and ∆9-tetrahydrocannabinol in humans discriminating ∆9-tetrahydrocannabinols. Behavioural pharmacology. 27(2-3 Spec Issue): 215-24.
Wesley MJ, Lohrenz T, Koffarnus MN, McClure SM, De La Garza R, 2nd, Salas R, Thompson-Lake DG, Newton TF, Bickel WK, Montague PR (2014) Choosing money over drugs: The neural underpinnings of difficult choice in chronic cocaine users. Journal of addiction. 189853.
Wesley MJ, Bickel WK (2014). Remember the Future II: Meta-analyses and Functional Overlap of Working Memory and Delay Discounting. Biological Psychiatry. 75(6): 435-48.
Moussa MN, Wesley MJ, Porrino LJ, Hayasaka S, Bechara A, Burdette JH, Laurienti PJ (2014) Age-related differences in advantageous decision making are associated with distinct differences in functional community structure. Brain connectivity. 4(3): 193-202.
Wesley MJ, Hanlon CA, Porrino LJ (2011)Poor decision-making by chronic marijuana users is associated with decreased functional responsiveness to negative consequences. Psychiatry Research: Neuroimaging. 191(1): 51-9.
Hanlon CA, Wesley MJ, Stapleton JR, Laurienti PJ, Porrino LJ (2011) The association between frontal-striatal connectivity and sensorimotor control in cocaine users. Drug and Alcohol Dependence. 115(3): 240-3.
Hanlon CA, Wesley MJ, Roth AJ, Miller MD, Porrino LJ (2010) Loss of laterality in chronic cocaine users: an fMRI investigation of sensorimotor control. Psychiatry Research: Neuroimaging. 181(1): 15-23.