|Undergraduate Institution:||Pennsylvania University|
|Department:||Psychology (Behavioral Neuroscience)
The lab’s main interests involves understanding how the brain processes information about natural (food, water, sugar) rewards and how drugs (cocaine) can alter this process which can lead to addiction. My lab uses electrophysiology and fastscan cyclic voltammetry to investigate this process.
Prior research in this lab revealed nucleus accumbens neurons differentially encode information about goal directed behaviors for natural (saccharin) and drug (cocaine) rewards. My research project involves a reward comparison design that demonstrates a palatable saccharin solution devalued and avoided as it comes to predict cocaine availability. I examine if neurons in the nucleus accumbens (NAc) that are responsive to saccharin after conditioning are the same cells that process information about lever pressing for intravenous cocaine.