Corticolimbic Circuitry in Reward Learning and Pursuit
SpeakerKate Wassum, Ph.D.
LocationSage Center, Psychology 1312
To make adaptive decisions we must cast ourselves into the future and consider the possible outcomes of our potential choices. This prospective consideration is informed by our memories. I will discuss our lab’s recent work investigating the neural circuits responsible for encoding, updating, and retrieving reward memories for use in the considerations underlying decision making. We have taken a multifaceted approach to these investigations, combining modern circuit dissection and behavioral tools. Our results indicate that the orbitofrontal cortex and basolateral amygdala work in a reciprocal circuit to mediate in these functions. The cognitive symptoms underlying many psychiatric disorders result from a failure to appropriately learn about and/or anticipate potential future events, making these basic science data relevant to the understanding and potential treatment of mental illness.