Shelley Warlow
Curriculum Vitae (PDF)PDF-logo


Biopsychology Graduate Student

email: smwarlow@umich.edu

General Interests

My research is focused on understanding brain mechanisms involved in incentive salience, or wanting for a cue that predicts reward. Specifically, I am interested in how certain brain circuits combine learned associations with current motivational state to focus wanting for a particular reward or reward-predictive cue. Additionally, I am interested in understanding brain regions responsible for transforming cues into motivational magnets, a key process underlying relapse in addicts.


  • Comparing cocaine with sugar in recruiting central nucleus of amygdala to focus wanting for a particular cue
  • Exploring the role of lateral hypothalamus in facilitating conditioned approach behavior
  • Examining several brain regions, particularly the central amygdala, and their ability to generate intense wanting for a cue during an autoshaping task
  • Understanding the role of amygdala in social play behavior

Optogenetics, autoshaping, operant behavior, cocaine self administration, food intake, place preference, microinjections