Assistant Professor, Department of Psychology
Research Affiliate, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Department of Psychology
University of Calgary
AD011, 2500 University Drive NW
Calgary. AB T2N 1N4
Our goal is to uncover the neural mechanisms of reward and reinforcement learning, motivation, and decision-making in order to better understand the effects of early-life adversity and addiction. We study these processes at the level of molecules (e.g., neurotransmitters), neural structures, and behaviour, using a variety of neuroscience tools and methods; from pharmacological manipulations, fast-scan cyclic voltammetry, drug self-administration, chemogenetics, immunohistochemistry, to sophisticated assessments of behavior. We study learning, motivation, and decision-making, as well as their underlying neural circuitry, to better understand functioning in health and disease. Our goal is not only to understand these mechanisms, but also to generate prevention strategies and treatment options for addiction. Our work is also relevant for Parkinson’s disease, Huntington’s disease, depression, schizophrenia, ADHD, OCD, and autism.