Research activity per year

Personal profile

Research interests

I am a behavioral neuroscientist with a background in functional neuroanatomy. I am interested in how our brain controls motivated behavior and why we sometimes lose that control. My scientific focus lies on how release of the neurotransmitter dopamine (and other neuromodulators such as serotonin) regulates cortico-basal ganglia networks under normal (e.g., reinforcement learning, decision making), as well as pathological conditions (e.g., OCD, drug addiction). My research group pursues these goals by collecting a range of neurobiological measurements in awake behaving rodents (voltammetry, electrophysiology, calcium imaging etc.) and by probing neural mechanisms with optogenetic, chemogenetic, and pharmacological interventions. 

We study how the brain produces automatic and habitual actions (behavior outside of conscious control), and how dysregulation of such actions may contribute to compulsive behavior, a common denominator to several neuro-psychiatric disorders such as OCD, addictions, and eating disorders. Compulsive behavior may occur due to dysregulation of several individual behavioral functions (components), such as cognitive flexibility and habit formation. We study compulsive behavior itself, a variety of its presumed components, and their brain mechanisms in rodents, but in the long run, our research is intended to lead to novel insights that improve psychiatric therapy in human patients.  


Behavioral Neuroscience

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being

Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

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