Office: 1050 SWKT
Phone: 801-422-9499
Personal Page
Scott Steffensen, Professor

Department: Psychology



Born in Inglewood, CA. Married with 4 children.


  • PhD, University of Utah, 1987
  • BS, University of Utah, 1980

Research Interests

My research focuses on the neurobiology of addiction. I utilize electrophysiological, neurochemical, and behavioral approaches to study neuroadaptations in brain substrates during alcohol and nicotine dependence and codependence. My research has been funded by grants from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) for the past twenty-eight years. My lab is currently staffed by two postdoctoral fellows, five graduate students, and thirty-five undergraduate students. I am grateful for internal support from BYU as well as the amazing students under my purview


  • Fellow, Arnold and Mabel Beckman Foundation, 2019

Publication Info

  • Ryan L Wood, William G Pitt, Scott C Steffensen, Alonzo D Cook (2016). A comparison of lysophosphatidylcholine and crush injury in a rat model of sciatic nerve regeneration. Adv Tissue Eng Regen Med Open Access .
  • Michael J Larson, Peter E. Clayson, Mark Primosch, Marco Leyton, Scott C Steffensen (2015). The effects of acute dopamine precursor depletion on the cognitive control functions of performance monitoring and conflict processing: An event-related potential (ERP) study. PLOS One.
  • L Qiang, Y Huang, J Shen, Scott C Steffensen, Jie Wu (2012). Functional a7b2 nicotinic acetylcholine receptors expressed in hippocampal interneurons exhibit high sensitivity to pathological level of amyloid B peptides. BMC Neuroscience.
  • D Zhang, M Gao, D Xu, S Wei-Xing, B S Gutkin, Scott C Steffensen, Ron J Lukas, Jie Wu (2012). Impact of Prefrontal Cortex in Nicotine-Induced Excitation of Ventral Tegmental Area Dopamine Neurons in Anesthetized Rats. Journal of Neuroscience.
  • T D Egan, S Obara, T E Jenkins, S S Jaw-Tsai, S Amagasu, Daniel R Cook, Scott C Steffensen, David R Beattie (2012). A Novel, Metabolically-Labile Sedative/Hypnotic Agent with Rapid and Predictable Emergence from Hypnosis. Anesthesiology.
  • Seong Shoon Yoon, Eun Jin Yang, Bong Hyo Lee, Eun Young Jang, Hee Young Kim, Sun-Mi Choi, Scott C Steffensen, Chae Ha Yang (2012). Effects of acupuncture on stress-induced relapse to cocaine-seeking in rats. Psychopharmacology.
  • David W Allison, Rebecca S Wilcox, Kyle L Ellefsen, Caitlin E Askew, David M Hansen, Jeffrey D Wilcox, Stephanie S Sandoval, Dennis Lee Eggett, Yuchio Yanagawa, Scott C Steffensen (2011). Mefloquine effects on ventral tegmental area dopamine and GABA neuron inhibition: A physiologic role for connexin-36 gap junctions. Synapse.
  • Scott C Steffensen, Katie Bradley, David M Hansen, Jeffrey D Wilcox, Rebecca S Wilcox, David W Allison, Collin B Merrill, Jeff Glen Edwards (2010). The role of connexin-36 gap junctions in alcohol intoxication and consumption. Synapse.
  • Chae Ha Yang, Seong-Shoon Yoon, David M Hansen, Jeffrey D Wilcox, Bryan R Blumell, JungJae Park, Scott C Steffensen (2010). Acupuncture inhibits GABA neuron activity in the ventral tegmental area and reduces ethanol self-administration. Alcoholism, clinical and experimental research.
  • Hector Vargas-Perez, Ryan T Kee, Christine H Walton, David M Hansen, Rozita Razavi, Laura Clarke, M R Bufalino, David Wilbanks Allison, Scott C Steffensen, Derek van der Kooy (2009). Ventral tegmental area BDNF induces an opiate-dependent-like reward state in naive Rats. Science.