Compromised Dopaminergic Encoding of Reward Accompanying Suppressed Willingness to Overcome High Effort Costs Is a Prominent Prodromal Characteristic of the Q175 Mouse Model of Huntington's Disease.

Covey DP, Dantrassy HM, Zlebnik NE, Gildish I, Cheer JF.
J Neurosci. 2016 May 4;36(18):4993-5002. doi: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.0135-16.2016.

Beyond the CB1 Receptor: Is Cannabidiol the Answer for Disorders of Motivation?

Zlebnik NE, Cheer JF.
Annu Rev Neurosci. 2016 Feb 24.

Research in the Cheer Lab is aimed at elucidating fundamental neural mechanisms underlying motivated behaviors, and how these are modulated by the recently described endogenous cannabinoid system.

This signaling network has been involved in natural physiological processes such as pain perception, thermoregulation and motor coordination. The system is also implicated in maladaptive motivated behaviors such as drug addiction and obesity.

Our research seeks to extract neurobiological correlates of certain behaviors, within specifically defined anatomical frameworks to understand how key neural circuits in the brain function.

We use advanced state-of-the-art electrophysiological and neurochemical techniques to examine the activity patterns of individual neurons as well as neuronal populations and how these are regulated via neurotransmitters (dopamine in particular). We have recently implemented the use of a sensor that allows for the simultaneous measurement of neuronal firing and neurotransmitter release. We complement this approach with modern neuroscience techniques such as opto and chemogenetics as well as calcium imaging in freely moving animals using mini-endoscope technology.

These techniques are particularly useful for elucidating specific temporal relationships between behavior and brain activity.

Contact :
J. F. Cheer Ph.D.

University of Maryland School of Medicine
Department of Anatomy and Neurobiology
20 Penn Street
Baltimore, MD 21201 - (410) 706-0112
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