Roy A. Wise, Ph.D., F.R.S.C., Senior Investigator - Principal Investigators - The Intramural Research Program of the National Institute on Drug Abuse

Skip Navigation


photo of Dr. Wise


251 Bayview Blvd
Suite 200
Baltimore, MD 21224


Roy A. Wise, Ph.D., F.R.S.C., Senior Investigator

Chief, Behavioral Neuroscience Section on-site page link

Ph.D. - McGill University (thesis advisor: Dalbir Bindra)

B.A., M.A., - California State University


My interest is in the brain mechanisms of motivation and addiction. Our current studies focus on the mesolimbic and nigrostriatal dopamine systems, systems that appear to stamp in or "reinforce" stimulus-stimulus, stimulus-response, and response-outcome learning involved in habit formation. These systems are activated by addictive drugs, unexpected rewards, and reward predictors, and they are modified by experience with drugs of abuse. We are interested in the neuronal inputs that carry reward-predictive signals and we are interested in drug-induced modifications that, for example, change the sensitivity of the system to stress. Our current studies are based on microdialysis studies of intravenous drug self-administration and involve interdisciplinary collaborations involving histochemistry, electrophysiology, in vivo voltammetry, and cell biology. Of particular interest are manipulations of the glutamatergic, cholinergic, and CRF inputs to the ventral tegmental area using receptor-specific neurotoxins, small interfering RNA, and viral overexpression of the glutamate-1 transporter.

Selected Publications:

1. Wise, R. A. (2009). Roles for nigrostriatal—not just mesocorticolimbic—dopamine in reward and addiction. Trends in Neurosciences, 32, 517-524.

2. You Z.B., Wang B., Zitzman D., Azari S., Wise R.A. (2008). Acetylcholine release in the mesocorticoloimbic dopamine system during cocaine seeking: conditioned and unconditioned contributions to reward and motivation. Journal of Neuroscience, 28, 9021-9029.

3. Wise R.A., Wang B., You Z.B. (2008). Cocaine serves as a peripheral interoceptive conditioned stimulus for central glutamate and dopamine release. PLoS One, 3, e2846.

4. Geisler S., Wise R.A. (2008). Functional implications of glutamatergic projections to the ventral tegmental area. Reviews in the Neurosciences, 19, 227-244.

5. You Z.B., Wang B., Zitzman D., Azari S., Wise R.A. (2007). A role for conditioned ventral tegmental glutamate release in cocaine-seeking. Journal of Neuroscience, 27, 10546-10555.

6. Wang B., Shaham Y., Zitzman D., Azari S., Wise R.A., You Z.B. (2005). Cocaine experience establishes control of midbrain glutamate and dopamine by corticotropin-releasing factor: a role in stress-induced relapse to drug-seeking. Journal of Neuroscience, 25, 5389-5396.

7. Wise R.A. (2004). Dopamine, learning and motivation. Nature Reviews Neuroscience, 5, 483-494.

8. Wise R.A. (2004). Drive, incentive, and reinforcement: The antecedents and consequences of motivation. Nebraska Symposium on Motivation, 50, 159-195.

9. Wise R.A. (1989). The brain and reward. In JM Liebman and SJ Cooper (Eds.) The Neuropharmacological Basis of Reward. Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp. 377-424.

10. Wise R.A. (1987). Intravenous drug self-administration: A special case of positive reinforcement. In MA Bozarth (Ed.) Methods of Assessing the Reinforcing Properties of Abused Drugs. New York: Springer-Verlag, pp. 117-141.

11. Wise R.A. (1987). Sensorimotor modulation and the variable action pattern (VAP): Toward a noncircular definition of drive and motivation. Psychobiology, 15, 7-20.

About Dr. Wise's...

Health and Human Services Logo National Institute on Drug Abuse Logo

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.

PDF documents require the free Adobe Reader. Microsoft Word documents require the free Microsoft Word viewer. Microsoft PowerPoint documents require the free Microsoft PowerPoint viewer. Flash content requires the free Adobe Flash Player.