Dr Laura Lopez-Cruz

Laura Lopez-Cruz

University position

Research Associate


Department of Psychology



Research Theme

Cognitive and Behavioural Neuroscience


My research focuses on the development and validation of a series of touchscreen-based assays for the evaluation of motivation and affective state in laboratory rodents. We subsequently employ pharmacological or behavioral manipulations to improve understanding of the mechanisms that underlie these psychological processes.

Research Focus




animal models


Clinical conditions

No diseases indicated


Behavioural analysis





Ben Phillips

Tim Bussey

Lisa Saksida

United Kingdom

Chris Heath

Associated News Items

    Key publications

    Phillips BU, Lopez-Cruz L*, Hailwood J, Heaht CJ, Saksida LM, Bussey TJ. (2018), “Translational approaches to evaluating motivation in laboratory rodents: conventional and touchscreen-based procedures” Current Opinion in Behavioral Sciences (22) 21-27



    López-Cruz L, San Miguel N, Carratalá-Ros C, Monferrer L, Salamone JD, Correa M. (2018), “Dopamine depletion shifts behavior from activity based reinforcers to more sedentary ones and adenosine receptor antagonism reverses that shift: Relation to ventral striatum DARPP32 phosphorylation patterns.” Neuropharmacology. S0028-3908(18)

    SanMiguel N, Pardo M, Carratalá-Ros C, López-Cruz L, Salamone JD, Correa M. (2018), “Individual differences in the energizing effects of caffeine on effort-based decision-making tests in rats.” 13;169:27-34. 13;169:27-34.


    López-Cruz L, Carbó-Gas M, Pardo M, Bayarri P, Valverde O, Ledent C, Salamone JD, Correa M. (2017), “Adenosine A(2A) receptor deletion affects social behaviors and anxiety in mice: Involvement of anterior cingulate cortex and amygdala.” Behav Brain Res 321:8-17


    López-Cruz L, San-Miguel N, Bayarri P, Baqi Y, Müller CE, Salamone JD, Correa M. (2016), “Ethanol and Caffeine Effects on Social Interaction and Recognition in Mice: Involvement of Adenosine A(2A) and A(1) Receptors.” Front Behav Neurosci 10:206.

    Correa M, Pardo M, Bayarri P, López-Cruz L, San Miguel N, Valverde O, Ledent C, Salamone JD. (2016), “Choosing voluntary exercise over sucrose consumption depends upon dopamine transmission: effects of haloperidol in wild type and adenosine A₂AKO mice. ” Psychopharmacology (Berl). 233(3):393-404

    Salamone JD, Correa M, Yohn S, Lopez Cruz L, San Miguel N, Alatorre L. (2016), “The pharmacology of effort-related choice behavior: Dopamine, depression, and individual differences.” Behav Processes 127:3-17.

    Salamone JD, Pardo M, Yohn SE, López-Cruz L, SanMiguel N, Correa M. (2016), “Mesolimbic Dopamine and the Regulation of Motivated Behavior.” Curr Top Behav Neurosci. 27:231-57

    Yohn SE, Gogoj A, Haque A, Lopez-Cruz L, Haley A, Huxley P, Baskin P, Correa M, Salamone JD. (2016), “Evaluation of the effort-related motivational effects of the novel dopamine uptake inhibitor PRX-14040.” Pharmacol Biochem Behav. 148:84-91

    Yohn SE, Lopez-Cruz L, Hutson PH, Correa M, Salamone JD. (2016), “Effects of lisdexamfetamine and s-citalopram, alone and in combination, on effort-related choice behavior in the rat.” Psychopharmacology (Berl). 233(6):949-60.


    Pardo M, López-Cruz L, San Miguel N, Salamone JD, Correa M. (2015), “Selection of sucrose concentration depends on the effort required to obtain it: studies using tetrabenazine, D1, D2, and D3 receptor antagonists.” Psychopharmacology (Berl). 232(13):2377-91


    López-Cruz L, Salamone JD, Correa M. (2014), “The Impact of Caffeine on the Behavioral Effects of Ethanol Related to Abuse and Addiction: A Review of Animal Studies.” J Caffeine Res. 3(1):9-21.

    Randall PA, Lee CA, Podurgiel SJ, Hart E, Yohn SE, Jones M, Rowland M, López-Cruz L, Correa M, Salamone JD. (2014), “Bupropion increases selection of high effort activity in rats tested on a progressive ratio/chow feeding choice procedure: implications for treatment of effort-related motivational symptoms.” Int J Neuropsychopharmacol. 18(2)


    López-Cruz L, Pardo M, Salamone JD, Correa M. (2013), “ Differences between the nonselective adenosine receptor antagonists caffeine and theophylline in motor and mood effects: studies using medium to high doses in animal models.” Behav Brain Res 270:213-22

    Nunes EJ, Randall PA, Hart EE, Freeland C, Yohn SE, Baqi Y, Müller CE, López-Cruz L, Correa M, Salamone JD. (2013), “Effort-related motivational effects of the VMAT-2 inhibitor tetrabenazine: implications for animal models of the motivational symptoms of depression.” J Neurosci 33(49):19120-30.

    Pardo M, Betz AJ, San Miguel N, López-Cruz L, Salamone JD, Correa M. (2013), “Acetate as an active metabolite of ethanol: studies of locomotion, loss of righting reflex, and anxiety in rodents.” Front Behav Neurosci. 10;7:81.

    Pardo M, López-Cruz L, Valverde O, Ledent C, Baqi Y, Müller CE, Salamone JD, Correa M. (2013), “Effect of subtype-selective adenosine receptor antagonists on basal or haloperidol-regulated striatal function: studies of exploratory locomotion and c-Fos immunoreactivity in outbred and A(2A)R KO mice.” Behav Brain Res. 247:217-26.

    Podurgiel SJ, Nunes EJ, Yohn SE, Barber J, Thompson A, Milligan M, Lee CA, López-Cruz L, Pardo M, Valverde O, Lendent C, Baqi Y, Müller CE, Correa M, Salamone JD. (2013), “The vesicular monoamine transporter (VMAT-2) inhibitor tetrabenazine induces tremulous jaw movements in rodents: implications for pharmacological models of parkinsonian tremor.” Neuroscience. 250:507-19.

    Segovia KN, Vontell R, López-Cruz L, Salamone JD, Correa M. (2013), “c-Fos immunoreactivity in prefrontal, basal ganglia and limbic areas of the rat brain after central and peripheral administration of ethanol and its metabolite acetaldehyde.” Front Behav Neurosci. 7:48.


    Pardo M, Lopez-Cruz L, Valverde O, Ledent C, Baqi Y, Müller CE, Salamone JD, Correa M. (2012), “Adenosine A2A receptor antagonism and genetic deletion attenuate the effects of dopamine D2 antagonism on effort-based decision making in mice.” Neuropharmacology. 62(5-6):2068-77

    Randall PA, Pardo M, Nunes EJ, López Cruz L, Vemuri VK, Makriyannis A, Baqi Y, Müller CE, Correa M, Salamone JD. (2012), “Dopaminergic modulation of effort-related choice behavior as assessed by a progressive ratio chow feeding choice task: pharmacological studies and the role of individual differences.” PLoS One 7(10):e47934.

    Santerre JL, Nunes EJ, Kovner R, Leser CE, Randall PA, Collins-Praino LE, Lopez Cruz L, Correa M, Baqi Y, Müller CE, Salamone JD. (2012), “The novel adenosine A(2A) antagonist prodrug MSX-4 is effective in animal models related to motivational and motor functions” Pharmacol Biochem Behav. 102(4):477-87