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Publications in VIVO

Saddoris, Michael Assistant Professor


Research Areas research areas


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.


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


selected publications


courses taught

  • NRSC 4011 - Senior Thesis
    Primary Instructor - Fall 2019 / Spring 2020 / Spring 2021
    Senior Thesis credits are available for students during the semester that they write and defend a departmental Honors Thesis. A neuroscience honors thesis must be based on an empirical research project that the student directs/participates in under guidance from a faculty member. Contact the neuroscience director for further information.
  • NRSC 4082 - Neural Circuits of Learning and Decision Making
    Primary Instructor - Spring 2018 / Spring 2019 / Spring 2020 / Spring 2021
    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 / Spring 2021
    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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