Amygdala circuitry in reward learning & decision making

  • Date: Apr 11, 2022
  • Time: 05:00 PM - 06:00 PM (Local Time Germany)
  • Speaker: Kate Wassum
  • Professor, Wenzel/Jeffrey Term Chair in Behavioral Neuroscience, UCLA; Department of Psychology, Brain Research Institute, Integrative Center for Learning & Memory, Integrative Center for Addictive Disorders
  • Location: Zoom
  • Host: Peter Dayan (Philipp Schwartenbeck)
Amygdala circuitry in reward learning & decision making

To make adaptive decisions we must cast ourselves into the future and consider the 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 recording, modern circuit dissection, and behavioral tools. Our results are generally indicating that the basolateral amygdala, midbrain, and orbitofrontal cortex work in a circuit to participate 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.

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