To make adaptive decisions we must cast ourselves into the future and consider the outcomes of our potential choices. This prospective consideration is informed by our memories. I will discuss our lab’s recent work investigating the neural circuits responsible for encoding, updating, and retrieving reward memories for use in the considerations underlying decision making. We have taken a multifaceted approach to these investigations, combining recording, modern circuit dissection, and behavioral tools. Our results are generally indicating that the basolateral amygdala, midbrain, and orbitofrontal cortex work in a circuit to participate in these functions. The cognitive symptoms underlying many psychiatric disorders result from a failure to appropriately learn about and/or anticipate potential future events, making these basic science data relevant to the understanding and potential treatment of mental illness.
Zoom option if unable to attend in person: