[NAB Seminar] Neural Circuits for Motivation and Reward
SpeakerProf. Garret Stuber
In order to survive and effectively navigate an ever-changing and unpredictable environment, organisms must readily adapt their behavior to seek out needed resources, while simultaneously avoiding life-threatening
situations. These opposing processes are controlled by neural circuitry that is readily engaged by both environmental and physiological factors to promote behavioral output.
The work of my lab studies the precise neural circuits that control both reward and aversive-related behavioral responses. By utilizing optogenetics, calcium imaging, and single cell sequencing, we aim to delineate the precise functional interactions between molecularly distinct neuronal populations that are critical for the generation of these critical behavioral states. A holistic understanding of the interconnected neural circuit elements that mediate diverse motivational behaviors will likely provide important insight into a variety of complex neurological and neuropsychiatric illnesses such as addiction, pain, and emotional disorders.