Cellular basis of goal-directed behavior and animal models of schizophrenia.
We use a systems approach to study the neuronal mechanisms that maintain cognitive and emotional functions in key brain regions that have been implicated in symptoms of schizophrenia, ADHD, anxiety, and addictive disorders. Our primary focus is on prefrontal cortex subregions and dopamine neurons in the midbrain. We use electrophysiological and neurochemical methods to study the coordinated activity of these regions during various behavioral paradigms. Pharmacological or environmental manipulation of these systems is used to model variables that are relevant to disease. New directions include characterization of these neuronal systems during adolescence. The onset of symptoms for most psychiatric disorders is during adolescence; therefore, understanding what goes awry in this developmental period is critical for defining the neuronal basis of the disease process and designing strategies that prevent the onset of symptoms.
Sturman, D.A., Moghaddam, B. Adolescents exhibit behavioral differences from adults during instrumental learning and extinction. Journal of Neuroscience, 2010.
Moghaddam, B. Dopamine in the thalamus: A hotbed for psychosis? Biological Psychiatry, 68: 3-4, 2010.
Kim, Y.B., Matthews, M., Moghaddam, B. Putative GABA neurons in the VTA have a similar pattern of plasticity as dopamine neurons during appetitive and aversive learning. European Journal of Neuroscience, 32(9): 1564-1572, 2010.
Sturman, D.A., Mandell, D.R., Moghaddam, B. Adolescents exhibit behavioral differences from adults during instrumental learning and extinction. Behavioral Neuroscience, 124: 16-25, 2010.
Totah, N., Kim, Y.B., Homayoun, H., Moghaddam, B. Anterior cingulate neurons represent errors and preparatory attention within the same behavioral sequence. Journal of Neuroscience, 29(20): 6418-26, 2009.
Homayoun, H., Moghaddam, B. Orbitofrontal cortex neurons as a common target for classic and novel antipsychotic drugs. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (USA), 105:18041-18046, 2008.
Stefani, M., Moghaddam, B. Rule learning and reward contingency are associated with dissociable patterns of dopamine activation in the rat prefrontal cortex, nucleus accumbens and dorsal striatum. Journal of Neuroscience, 26:8810-1118, 2006.