My laboratory investigates how neural circuits in the mammalian forebrain achieve critical psychological functions including reinforcement-driven learning and adaptive decision-making. We have a particular focus on basal ganglia circuits - their dynamics in normal awake, behaving animals and in pathological conditions such as drug addiction and Parkinson’s disease. We employ a range of state-of-the-art techniques including multi-site single-neuron electrophysiology, real-time neurochemical measures, and optogenetic manipulations during sophisticated behavioral tasks, and we are also actively involved in developing new technologies.
Recent Representative Publications
Hamid A, Pettibone JR, Mabrouk OS, Hetrick V, Schmidt R, VanderWeele C, Kennedy RT, Aragona BJ, Berke JD. Mesolimbic dopamine signals the value of work across multiple timescales. Nature Neuroscience, revision submitted.
Schmidt R, Leventhal DK, Mallet N, Chen F, Berke JD (2013). Canceling actions involves a race between basal ganglia pathways. Nature Neuroscience 16:1118-24.
Leventhal DK, Gage GJ, Schmidt R, Pettibone JR, Case AC, Berke JD (2012). Basal ganglia beta oscillations accompany cue utilization. Neuron, 73: 523-536.
Gage GJ, Stoetzner CR, Wiltschko AB, Berke JD (2010). Selective activation of striatal fast spiking interneurons during choice execution. Neuron, 67: 466-479.