Basal Ganglia, Motivation and Reward

Our team uses a translational approach from rodents and monkeys to Parkinsonian patients to better understand the role of basal ganglia (BG) in motivation and reward-related processes, both in normal and dysregulated behaviors, such as addiction or impulse control disorders.

We are studying the effect of the subthalamic nucleus (STN) inactivation, using deep brain stimulation (DBS) on cocaine addiction in rodents, as well as the role of this structure in reward-related processes and in impulse control.

The research conducted in non-human primates addresses the role of BG in reinforcement learning and the neural basis of motivational processes, using electrophysiological recordings in awake animals.

The clinical approach uses combined behavioral and electrophysiological studies. We are performing electrophysiological recordings of STN activity as well as functional imaging in post-operative PD patients and studying the clinical effects of STN DBS on the motivational state of PD patients with or without impulse control disorders.

Our multi-species approach, using comparable tasks, will allow us to improve our understanding of the role of BG in motivational processes using complementary experimental techniques in normal animals, animal models of pathologies and patients.

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