Kent Berridge

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Kent Berridge

James Olds Collegiate Professor of Psychology and Neuroscience

Office Location(s): 4038 East Hall
Phone: 734.763.4365
Berridge Lab

  • Fields of Study
    • Biopsychology
  • About

    My research and teaching interests include affective neuroscience and the psychology of emotion, motivation and reward. Research in my laboratory seeks better answers to fundamental questions such as:


    • How is pleasure generated in the brain?
    • What are the neural bases of wanting and liking?
    • How are rewards learned?
    • How do brain motivation systems work?
    • What causes addiction?
    • How does the brain distinguish pleasant from unpleasant?
    • How does fear relate to desire?


    We use optogenetic, drug microinjection, and other painless techniques to manipulate neural components of mesocorticolimbic systems in rodents,combined with sophisticated behavioral analysis techniques to assess changes in reward learning, ‘liking’, and ‘wanting’ or other motivation processes.  Each graduate student in our lab has an individualized research program focused on a selection from these topics guided by their own interests.

    Berridge lab website:

    Recent Representative Publications

    Berridge, K.C. & Kringelbach, M.L.  Pleasure systems in the brain.  Neuron, 86(3), 646-664 (2015).

    Robinson, M.J.F., Warlow, S.M. & Berridge, K.C.  Optogenetic excitation of central amygdala amplifies and narrows incentive motivation to pursue one reward above another.  Journal of Neuroscience, 34(50) 34, 16567-16580  (2014).    

    Castro, D. C. & Berridge, K.C.  Opioid hedonic hotspot in nucleus accumbens shell: mu, delta and kappa maps for enhancement of sweetness ‘liking’ and ‘wanting’.  Journal of Neuroscience,  31: 4239-4250  (2014).  

    Robinson, M.J.F. & Berridge, K.C. Instant transformation of learned repulsion into motivational "wanting." Current Biology. 23, 282-289 (2013).        

    Richard, J.M. & Berridge, K.C. Prefrontal cortex modulates desire and dread generated by nucleus accumbens glutamate disruption. Biological Psychiatry, 73:4, 360-370 (2013).        

  • Education
    • Ph.D. University of Pennsylvania