We have several projects that span the study of basic mechanisms to more preclinical (disease) model approaches involving Orbitofrontal Cortex (OFC), Anterior Cingulate Cortex (ACC), Basolateral Amygdala (BLA), Hippocampus (HPC), Mediodorsal Thalamus (MD), and Perirhinal Cortex (PRh). Using a combination of novel behavioral paradigms, DREADDs, in vivo electrophysiology, and in vivo 1P calcium imaging, our lab seeks better resolution of diverse neural processes that support flexible learning and value-based decision making.
Cortico-amygdalar substrates of adaptive learning under uncertainty. One goal of the lab is to determine roles for ACC-BLA and OFC-BLA pathways in action-based and stimulus-based learning under uncertainty, using a mechanistic computational model as a guiding framework.
Circuits supporting effort- delay- and risk- based decisions. How is the value of one option computed relative to another? Are choices involving quality vs. quantity mediated by frontal cortex regions in the same way? We are similarly working on pathway contributions involving frontal cortex, HPC, PRh, and MD to value-based choices, using both naturalistic foraging and operant based approaches.
Frontocortical mechanisms in probabilistic reversal learning. ACC and OFC are both important in flexible reinforcement learning but recent theoretical perspectives have driven us to directly compare their contributions to the flexible learning of different probability schedules, and win-stay/lose-shift strategies.
Neural adaptations following chronic drug or alcohol experience. Other ongoing projects are aimed at determining how corticolimbic circuits are differentially affected by chronic methamphetamine and alcohol experience, how systems-level interactions may change to bias learning and value-based decisions.