Degrees/Diplomas: Ph.D., University of California, Santa Barbara
Training Area: Animal Behavior and Comparative Psychology|Behavioral and Cognitive Neuroscience
Research Interests: Neurochemistry of Motivation
Research Focus: Neuroscience
Jon Horvitz received his PhD in Psychology from University of California, Santa Barbara, and was a post-doctoral fellow in Neuroscience at Princeton University. He was an Associate Professor in the Dept of Psychology at Columbia University and at Boston College before moving to CCNY where he is a full professor. His laboratory examines the neurochemical bases of learning and motivation, and focuses particularly on motivational functions of dopamine within the nucleus accumbens. The NIDA-funded work of the lab has particular relevance to drug addiction, for it seeks to understand the neural mechanisms by which environmental stimuli associated with (natural or drug) rewards activate motivational/motor systems and drive reward-seeking behaviors, and the changes that occur in these neural mechanisms as the reward-seeking behavior becomes an automated habit.