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Seminar Series - Patricia Janak

Rural Drug Addiction Research Center

1:30 pm–2:30 pm
RDAR Center, (402) 472-2243,
Join us for our virtual April Seminar Series event featuring a presentation by Patricia Janak on “Subcortical Brain Circuits Gate Motivation: Implications for Addiction.”

Reward seeking behavior is shaped by current motivation and past learning about the nature of a given reward and how to acquire it. Neural mechanisms of learning and motivation both depend on a canonical ‘reward circuit’ in the brain that includes ventral basal ganglia and amygdala. In this seminar, Dr. Janak will discuss current rodent laboratory studies that explore neural mediation of reward seeking, for both natural rewards and alcohol, by these circuits.

Patricia Janak is a Bloomberg Distinguished Professor of Psychological and Brain Sciences and Neuroscience at Johns Hopkins University. Dr. Janak earned her Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley, and conducted postdoctoral research at the Wake Forest School of Medicine and the National Institute on Drug Abuse, National Institutes of Health. From 1999 to 2014, Dr. Janak was faculty at the University of California, San Francisco where she was the Howard J. Weinberger, M.D., Endowed Chair in Addiction Research at the University of California, San Francisco.

Dr. Janak studies neural processes of reward learning, both under normal conditions and in animal models relevant to substance use disorders. Janak and her laboratory members have pioneered the development of rodent models of alcohol relapse and habitual responding and have made critical discoveries regarding neurochemical and neuroanatomical bases of alcohol intake and relapse. Additional work on dopaminergic systems and limbic-striatal circuits reflects a quest to understand how reward cues are learned and how they then come to shape ongoing behavior. Recent studies focus on how neural processing of reward leads to adaptation in limbic-striatal circuits controlling reward seeking, a question with implications for substance use and eating disorders.

This virtual seminar is FREE and OPEN to the public. Please register here to attend:

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