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Wilfrid Laurier University Leaf
October 23, 2017
Canadian Excellence

Dr. Bruce McKay

Associate Professor, Psychology; Associate Dean: Student Services

Contact Information
Phone: 519-884-0710 ext.2426 / 3033 Psychology

Office Location: N1048 Faculty Science/N2074A Psychology


Dr. McKay is a cellular and behavioural neuroscientist whose principal research interest is the cellular and synaptic mechanisms by which addictive and therapeutic drugs modify nervous system function. The research program emphasizes mechanistic studies in three key brain regions modified by drug use: the cerebellum coordination of motor output, the hippocampus consolidation of specific kinds of memory, and the ventral tegmental area encoding of drug and natural rewards. These studies emphasize cellular-level analyses of action potential output and synaptic transmission (patch clamp electrophysiology in acute brain slices), molecular-level analyses of ion channels and neurotransmitter receptors (immunohistochemistry and confocal microscopy), and whole animal studies of behaviour (addiction and learning and memory paradigms). His current research focuses on the neurobiological mechanisms by which the abused solvent toluene modifies nervous system function.

Dr. McKay joined the Department of Psychology at Wilfrid Laurier University in 2008.