Corticolimbic Circuitry in Reward Learning and Pursuit

Feb 14, 2020 11:00am


Kate Wassum, Ph.D.
Department of Psychology, UCLA


Sage 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.





Research Area

Neuroscience and Behavior