Research Mission

Who are we?

We are a behavioural neuroscience laboratory located in the Department of Psychology at the University of Calgary. We are affiliated with Alberta Children Hospital Research Institute (ACHRI). More

What is our passion?

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 are equally passionate about mentoring and training future scientists, preparing them for academic and non-academic careers. More

How do we study learning, motivation, and decision-making?

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, optogenetics, immunohistochemistry, to sophisticated assessments of behavior. More

Why is our work important?

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.