NAB Seminar: Neural mechanisms of cue-motivated behavior


Kate Wassum, Ph.D

Date and Location

October 07, 2016 11:15am
Psych East, Room 3834


Environmental reward-predictive stimuli provide a major source of motivation for adaptive reward-seeking behaviors, which can become amplified in the addicted state, allowing cues to become potent 'triggers' for maladaptive behavior (e.g., drug seeking). I will present recent data from our lab showing that phasic dopamine signaling in the nucleus accumbens core tracks this cue-motivated behavior and that cue-evoked NAc dopamine responses are sensitive to need state, one critical variable that determines the current adaptive utility of such behavior. I will also provide data demonstrating that the accumbens cholinergic system gates cue-motivated behavior via modulation of cue-evoked dopamine signaling.


Dept. of Psychological & Brain Sciences, UCSB