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Professor Jon Horvitz Wins NIH Award

Neuroscience Collaborative Professor Jon Horvitz won the NIH High Priority, Short-Term Project Award for the 2015-2016 academic year.  His research for this award is entitled "Does the Nucleus Accumbens Core Play Only a Transient Role in Conditioning Reward."  We congratulate him and wish him luck on all future endeavors.

Dr. Horvitz on his work:

By the time individuals enter a clinical setting for treatment of a dysfunctional habit - such as those directed toward food, gambling, drugs of abuse - the behavior has not only been acquired, but “overlearned”.  Dopamine antagonist drugs reduce reward-directed behaviors but are not effective in treating drug-taking or other habits.  Work in the Horvitz lab shows that brain (and particularly nucleus accumbens) dopamine is necessary for reward-directed behavior only during early stages of habit learning, and plays a diminishing role in performance of overlearned behavior.  The work in this R56 combines central drug infusions and single-neuron recordings in rats to reveal neurobiological changes associated with performance of overlearned habits.

In addition, Jon Horvitz's textbook Essentials of Brain and Behavior, co-written with Barry Jacobs, is likely to be published later this year.  Keep an eye out for his work.
 

Submitted on: APR 13, 2016

Category: Biology | CUNY Neuroscience Collaborative | Psychology