Ph.D. in Neuroscience; University of California, San Francisco
B.S.; University of Wisconsin
Dr. Wanat's research focuses on the neural circuits that control reward-seeking actions (positive reinforcement) as well as the avoidance of aversive outcomes (negative reinforcement). The lab employs a diverse array of experimental techniques, including fast-scan cyclic voltammetry, optogenetics, chemogenetics, and fiber photometry. We are particularly interested in how the mesolimbic dopamine system governs actions in a regionally and temporally defined manner. Our goal is to identify and reverse neural adaptations underlying aberrant motivational processes in models of psychiatric disorders.
Dr. Wanat's research focuses on elucidating the role of the mesolimbic dopamine system on motivated behavior. Current projects in the lab examine how dopamine is involved with learning, stress-related behaviors, and drug addiction. The lab is also interested in how prior experience with abused substances or stressful events can alter dopaminedependent learning processes. The lab uses a number of techniques including fast-scan cyclic voltammetry, chemogenetics, optogenetics, and fiber photometry in conjunction with a diverse array of behavioral assays.
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