Satoshi Ikemoto, Ph.D., Investigator - Principal Investigators - The Intramural Research Program of the National Institute on Drug Abuse

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Satoshi Ikemoto, Ph.D., Investigator


251 Bayview Blvd.
Suite 200, Room 08A711
Baltimore, MD 21224

Phone: 443-740-2722
Fax: 443-740-2111

Satoshi Ikemoto, Ph.D., Senior Investigator

Chief, Neurocircuitry of Motivation Section

Post-doctoral Training - Institute of Psychiatric Research, Indiana University School of Medicine; Pharmacology, Louisiana State University School of Medicine; Behavioral Neuroscience, National Institute on Drug Abuse, Intramural Research Program

M.A., Ph.D. - Behavioral Neuroscience, Bowling Green State University; Advisor: Dr. Jaak Panksepp

B.A. - Psychology, Southern Illinois University at Carbondale


We study neurobiological mechanisms underlying motivation, affect and reinforcement. We are particularly interested in defining brain reward circuitry with respect to neurotransmitters, regions, and connectivity. We also seek to elucidate theoretical (conceptual) issues on the roles that dopamine and related systems play in motivated behaviors. Our behavioral procedures include instrumental and Pavlovian conditioning with optogenetic manipulations, intracranial drug injections and food in mice and rats. We also conduct electrophysiological recordings of neuronal spikes and local field potentials during motivated behavior.

Selected Publications:

  1. Disrupting glutamate co-transmission does not affect acquisition of conditioned behavior reinforced by dopamine neuron activation.
    Wang DV, Viereckel T, Zell V, Konradsson-Geuken Å, Broker CJ, Talishinsky A, Yoo JH, Galinato MH, Arvidsson E, Kesner AJ, Hnasko TS, Wallén-Mackenzie Å, Ikemoto S (2017)
    Cell Reports 18:2584-2591.
  2. Coordinated interaction between hippocampal sharp-wave ripples and anterior cingulate unit activity.
    Wang DV, Ikemoto S (2016)
    The Journal of Neuroscience 36:10663-10672.
  3. Basal ganglia circuit loops, dopamine and motivation: A review and enquiry.
    Ikemoto S
    , Yang C, Tan A (2015)
    Behavioural Brain Research 290:17-31.
  4. Mesopontine median raphe regulates hippocampal ripple oscillation and memory consolidation.
    Wang DV, Yau HJ, Broker CJ, Tsou JH, Bonci A, Ikemoto S (2015)
    Nature Neuroscience 18:728-735.
  5. Similar roles of substantia nigra and ventral tegmental dopamine neurons in reward and aversion.
    Ilango A, Kesner AJ, Keller KL, Stuber GD, Bonci A, Ikemoto S (2014)
    The Journal of Neuroscience 34:817-822.
  6. Neurocircuitry of drug reward.
    Ikemoto S
    , Bonci A (2014)
    Neuropharmacology 76 Pt B:329-341.
  7. Synergistic interaction between caloric restriction and amphetamine in food-unrelated approach behavior of rats.
    Keller KL, Vollrath-Smith FR, Jafari M, Ikemoto S (2014)
    Psychopharmacology 231:825-840.
  8. Cocaine drives aversive conditioning via delayed activation of dopamine-responsive habenular and midbrain pathways.
    Jhou TC, Good CH, Rowley CS, Xu SP, Wang H, Burnham NW, Hoffman AF, Lupica CR, Ikemoto S (2013)
    The Journal of Neuroscience 33:7501-7512.
  9. Mapping of reinforcing and analgesic effects of the mu opioid agonist Endomorphin-1 in the ventral midbrain of the rat.
    Jhou TC, Xu SP, Lee MR, Gallen CL, Ikemoto S (2012)
    Psychopharmacology 224:303-312

More About Dr. Ikemoto

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The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), is part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the principal biomedical and behavioral research agency of the United States Government. NIH is a component of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

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