Research in my lab seeks answers to fundamental questions, such as:
- How is pleasure generated in the brain?
- What are the neural bases of reward wanting and liking?
- How are rewards learned?
- How do brain motivation systems work?
- How is appetite controlled?
- 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: http://www.lsa.umich.edu/psych/research&labs/berridge/Research.html
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).