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Saddoris, Michael Assistant Professor

Positions

Research Areas research areas

Research

research overview

  • The Saddoris Lab is primarily focused on understanding the neuroscience of learning and goal-directed behavior. Because the world is a highly dynamic place, animals are tasked with finding stimuli in their environments that will adaptively allow them to obtain rewarding outcomes (such as food or mates) while avoiding dangerous situations (such as predators). A set of neural structures known as the limbic system, which includes the prefrontal cortex, amygdala and nucleus accumbens, form a highly interconnected circuit of structures that coordinate activity to support adaptive learning. By using a combination of techniques (e.g., electrophysiology, voltammetry, optogenetics) in combination with a variety of behaviors, we are working to understand how circuits of neural structures allow new information to be learned and altered through experience and especially following prolonged experience with drugs of abuse.

keywords

  • beahvioral neuroscience, learning, drug abuse, electrophysiology, fast scan cyclic voltammetry

Publications

selected publications

Teaching

courses taught

  • NRSC 4011 - Senior Thesis
    Primary Instructor - Fall 2019
    Critically reviews topics in neuroscience research, scholarly analysis of a major neuroscience issue, and/or empirical research project. See the neuroscience director for further information.
  • NRSC 4082 - Neural Circuits of Learning and Decision Making
    Primary Instructor - Spring 2018 / Spring 2019 / Spring 2020
    Provides an in-depth survey of the neural mechanisms of learning, motivated behavior and decision making. Analysis will focus on the interaction of neural circuits underlying these processes with particular attention to the cellular, molecular and information-processing aspects of identified pathways and considered into the context learning-based and neuroeconomic models of choice. Same as NRSC 5082.
  • NRSC 6100 - Advances in Neuroscience Seminar
    Primary Instructor - Spring 2018 / Spring 2019 / Spring 2020
    Designed for beginning graduate students interested in neuroscience. Students read, discuss, and evaluate the primary literature on a number of current topics in neuroscience as well as attend the seminar program in neuroscience. May be repeated up to 8 total credit hours.
  • NRSC 7102 - Topics in Neuroscience
    Primary Instructor - Fall 2019
    Advanced seminar dealing with different specialized topics in neuroscience. May be repeated up to 9 total credit hours.

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