Carlos A. Paladini, Ph.D.
Phone: (210) 458-4474
Areas of Specialization
» Dopaminergic neuron physiology
Ph.D. in Neuroscience; Rutgers University
B.A. in Zoology/Physiology; Rutgers University
The dopaminergic neurons located within the ventral mesencephalon encode perhaps one of the most important signals for reinforcement learning in the brain: reward prediction error. This signal is encoded by the firing pattern of dopaminergic neurons, which controls the release of dopamine at target regions, and this signal connects disruptions of dopamine function to many of the symptoms of a wide range of psychiatric diseases, drug addiction, and in the extreme case of the degeneration of these cells, to Parkinson's Disease. Using electrophysiology, optogenetics, cellular imaging, and behavioral neuroscience, Dr. Paladini's lab investigates the synaptic and cellular mechanisms by which identified inputs in the circuitry of the brain influence the physiology of dopaminergic neurons and resulting reward-related behavior.
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