Geoffrey Schoenbaum, MD, PhD, Senior Investigator - Principal Investigators - The Intramural Research Program of the National Institute on Drug Abuse

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Geoffrey Schoenbaum, MD, PhD, Senior Investigator


251 Bayview Boulevard,
Baltimore, MD 21224

Phone: (443) 722-6746

Geoffrey Schoenbaum, M.D., Ph.D., Senior Investigator

Chief, Cellular Neurobiology Research Branch on-site page link
Chief, Behavioral Neurophysiology Neuroscience Section on-site page link

Post-doctoral Training - University of North Carolina and Johns Hopkins University (Advisor: Dr Michela Gallagher)

M.D. - University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 1996

Ph.D. - Neuroscience, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 1994 (Advisor: Dr Howard Eichenbaum)

B.S. - Biology, University of Georgia at Athens, 1989


Our lab is interested in the neural circuits mediating associative learning and decision making and how alterations in those circuits contribute to maladaptive behaviors in neuropsychiatric disorders such as addiction. We use rats as a model system to study behaviors and neural circuits that we believe have direct relevance to understanding the human brain. Areas of particular interest include the orbitofrontal cortex, amygdala, striatum, and midbrain dopamine system. Our lab uses behavioral tasks based on principles derived from learning theory, combined with single unit recording, lesions, pharmacological and genetic manipulations to test hypotheses about how these areas interact to support learning and adaptive behavior.

Selected Publications:

  1. The impact of orbitofrontal dysfunction on cocaine addiction.
    Lucantonio F, Stalnaker TA, Shaham Y, Niv Y, Schoenbaum G. Nat Neurosci. 2012 Jan 22;15(3):358-66.
  2. Does the orbitofrontal cortex signal value?
    Schoenbaum G, Takahashi Y, Liu TL, McDannald MA. Ann N Y Acad Sci. 2011 Dec;1239:87-99.
  3. Expectancy-related changes in firing of dopamine neurons depend on orbitofrontal cortex.
    Takahashi YK, Roesch MR, Wilson RC, Toreson K, O'Donnell P, Niv Y, Schoenbaum G. Nat Neurosci. 2011 Oct 30;14(12):1590-7.
  4. Neural correlates of variations in event processing during learning in basolateral amygdala.
    Roesch MR, Calu DJ, Esber GR, Schoenbaum G. J Neurosci. 2010 Feb 17;30(7):2464-71.
  5. A new perspective on the role of the orbitofrontal cortex in adaptive behaviour.
    Schoenbaum G, Roesch MR, Stalnaker TA, Takahashi YK. Nat Rev Neurosci. 2009 Dec;10(12):885-92. Epub 2009 Nov 11. Review.
  6. The role of the orbitofrontal cortex in the pursuit of happiness and more specific rewards.
    Burke KA, Franz TM, Miller DN, Schoenbaum G. Nature. 2008 Jul 17;454(7202):340-4. Epub 2008 Jun 18.
  7. Dopamine neurons encode the better option in rats deciding between differently delayed or sized rewards.
    Roesch MR, Calu DJ, Schoenbaum G. Nat Neurosci. 2007 Dec;10(12):1615-24. Epub 2007 Nov 18.
  8. Basolateral amygdala lesions abolish orbitofrontal-dependent reversal impairments.
    Stalnaker TA, Franz TM, Singh T, Schoenbaum G.Neuron. 2007 Apr 5;54(1):51-8.
  9. Orbitofrontal cortex and representation of incentive value in associative learning.
    Gallagher M, McMahan RW, Schoenbaum G. J Neurosci. 1999 Aug 1;19(15):6610-4.
  10. Orbitofrontal cortex and basolateral amygdala encode expected outcomes during learning.
    Schoenbaum G, Chiba AA, Gallagher M. Nat Neurosci. 1998 Jun;1(2):155-9.

About Dr. Schoenbaum's...

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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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