Allison Bechard

Assistant Professor of Psychology and Director of Neuroscience
Bailey 142

Allison Bechard has been a member of the Geneseo faculty since 2018.

Office Hours

M 9:30-11:15 am, F 1:30-2:15 pm, or by appointment.

Research Interests

I am interested in the effects of early environment on mechanisms mediating maladaptive behaviors, such as repetitive motor behaviors and drug seeking. Using an animal model, I employ a neuroethological approach to investigate how the environment can modify neural circuitry underlying the development of these problem behaviors and how benefits accrued from the environment can be passed on to offspring.


Portrait of Allison Bechard

Curriculum Vitae


  • Ph.D., Behavioral and Cognitive Neuroscience, University of Florida, 2016

  • M.Sc., Animal Behavior & Animal Welfare, University of Guelph, Canada, 2009

  • B.Sc., Zoology, University of Toronto, Canada, 2002

Recent Courses Taught

  • Introduction to Behavioral Research Methods

  • Introduction to Biopsychology

  • Animal Behavior

  • Drugs and Society

Selected Publications

  • Shallcross J, Hamor PU, Bechard AR, Romano M, Knackstedt LA, Schwendt M. 2019. The divergent effects of CDPPB and cannabidiol on fear extinction and anxiety in a predator scent stress model of PTSD in rats. Frontiers in Behav. Neurosci. doi:

  • Bechard AR, Knackstedt LA. 2019. The effects of Pavlovian cue extinction and ceftriaxone on cocaine relapse after abstinence. Drug Alcohol Depend. 197:83-86.

  • Bechard AR, Hamor PU, Wu L., Schwendt M, Knackstedt LA. 2019. The effects of clavulanic acid and amoxicillin on cue-primed reinstatement of cocaine seeking. Behav Neurosci. 133:247-254. doi: 10.1037/bne0000297

  • Bechard AR, LaCrosse A, Namba MD, Jackson B, Knackstedt LA. 2018. Impairments in reversal learning following short access to cocaine self-administration. Drug Alcohol Depend. 192:239-44. doi:10.1016/j.drugalcdep.2018.08.00

  • Bechard AR, Hamor PU, Schwendt M, Knackstedt LA. 2018. The estrous cycle influences surface GluA1 expression in the nucleus accumbens and the ability of ceftriaxone to attenuate cue-primed reinstatement of cocaine-seeking. Psychopharmacology (Berl.) 235:837-48.

  • Bechard A, Bliznyuk N. Lewis MH. 2017. Effects of an enriched environment on the development of repetitive motor behaviors and activation of the indirect basal ganglia pathway. Develop Psychobiol. 59:390-99.

  • Bechard A, Lewis MH. 2016. Transgenerational effects of environmental enrichment on repetitive motor behavior development. Behav Brain Res. 307:145-9. doi: 10.1016/j.bbr.2016.04.005.

  • Bechard A, Cacodcar N, King MA, Lewis MH. 2016. How does environmental enrichment reduce repetitive motor behaviors? A study of neuronal activation and dendritic morphology in the indirect basal ganglia pathway of a mouse mode. Behav Brain Res. 299:122-31. doi: 10.1016/j.bbr.2015.11.029.

  • Bechard A, Lewis MH. 2012. Modeling restricted repetitive behavior in animals. Autism Open Access. S1:006.


  • NEUR 205: Neuroscience Technology Lab

    Students will review and respond to selected readings, videos, animations, and virtual experiments designed to demonstrate the application of theory and techniques used in Neuroscience.

  • NEUR 206: Neuroscience Practical Lab

    Students will participate in weekly laboratory exercises designed to demonstrate the application of theory and techniques used in Neuroscience.

  • NEUR 215: Applications in Neuroscience

    This course requires participating in community service work focused on care and treatment of individuals with neurological disease/dysfunction. Students will also compose a written report and poster-style presentation integrating experiences of their field work with relevant findings from current scientific literature.

  • PSYC 397: Undergraduate Research Seminar

    This course provides experience in formulating research projects and applying research techniques in psychology through participation in a faculty-supervised research project and a student-faculty research seminar.