Dazed and confused 2

Dr. Carrie Cuttler

Associate Professor in the WSU Department of Psychology


Dr. Ryan J McLaughlin

Associate Professor in the Department of Integrative Physiology and Neuroscience

Dazed and Confused— High school high

Dr. Carrie Cuttler, Associate Professor in the WSU Department of Psychology, and Dr. Ryan J McLaughlin, Associate Professor in the Department of Integrative Physiology and Neuroscience, will discuss teenage cannabis use and its effects. They will explore the impact of cannabis use on mental health, physical health, stress, and cognition, and examine whether the movie portrays these effects.

This event is part of our 2024 National Evening of Science on Screen.

Kenworthy Performing Arts Centre Moscow, ID

Film Synopsis

The adventures of high school and junior high students on the last day of school in May 1976.

    This coming-of-age film follows the mayhem of group of rowdy teenagers in Austin, Texas, celebrating the last day of high school in 1976. The graduating class heads for a popular pool hall and joins an impromptu keg party, however star football player Randall "Pink" Floyd (Jason London) has promised to focus on the championship game and abstain from partying. Meanwhile, the incoming freshmen try to avoid being hazed by the seniors, most notably the sadistic bully Fred O'Bannion (Ben Affleck).

    Photo credit: Gramercy Pictures

    About the Speaker

    Research in Dr. Cuttler’s Health and Cognition Lab focuses on elucidating the potentially beneficial and detrimental effects of chronic cannabis use and acute cannabis intoxication. Our current and recent work focuses on examining links between cannabis use and mental health (e.g., depression, anxiety, OCD), physical health (e.g., pain, sleep), stress, and cognition (e.g., memory, decision-making, executive functioning, creativity, attention). Further, we are interested in examining effects of cannabis with different concentrations of THC and CBD as well as effects of cannabis concentrates to better understand their influence on mental health, physical health, and cognition.

    Dr. Ryan J. McLaughlin joined the Department of Integrative Physiology and Neuroscience at WSU as an Assistant Professor in 2014 and was promoted to Associate Professor in 2021. The goal of Dr. McLaughlin’s research program is to determine how endogenous and exogenous cannabinoids affect the brain and behavior. His research has shown that the endocannabinoid system is a vital component of the neuroendocrine and behavioral stress response, and that pharmacologically targeting this system could be a promising strategy for treating stress-related disorders. More recently, Dr. McLaughlin’s research team has developed a novel, translationally valid approach for modeling cannabis use in rodents that uses response-contingent delivery of vaporized cannabis extracts to better understand the effects of cannabis use on the brain and behavior. Dr. McLaughlin’s team uses this approach to examine how cannabis use during sensitive developmental periods contributes to behavioral, cognitive, and neurobiological alterations, and whether they differ by sex.