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. Lucantonio F, Stalnaker TA, Shaham Y, Niv Y, Schoenbaum G. The impact of orbitofrontal dysfunction on cocaine addiction. Nat Neurosci. 2012 Jan 22;15(3):358-66.

  2. Schoenbaum G, Takahashi Y, Liu TL, McDannald MA. Does the orbitofrontal cortex signal value? Ann N Y Acad Sci. 2011 Dec;1239:87-99.

  3. Takahashi YK, Roesch MR, Wilson RC, Toreson K, O'Donnell P, Niv Y, Schoenbaum G. Expectancy-related changes in firing of dopamine neurons depend on orbitofrontal cortex. Nat Neurosci. 2011 Oct 30;14(12):1590-7.

  4. Roesch MR, Calu DJ, Esber GR, Schoenbaum G. Neural correlates of variations in event processing during learning in basolateral amygdala. J Neurosci. 2010 Feb 17;30(7):2464-71.

  5. Schoenbaum G, Roesch MR, Stalnaker TA, Takahashi YK. A new perspective on the role of the orbitofrontal cortex in adaptive behaviour. Nat Rev Neurosci. 2009 Dec;10(12):885-92. Epub 2009 Nov 11. Review.

  6. Burke KA, Franz TM, Miller DN, Schoenbaum G. The role of the orbitofrontal cortex in the pursuit of happiness and more specific rewards. Nature. 2008 Jul 17;454(7202):340-4. Epub 2008 Jun 18.

  7. Roesch MR, Calu DJ, Schoenbaum G. Dopamine neurons encode the better option in rats deciding between differently delayed or sized rewards. Nat Neurosci. 2007 Dec;10(12):1615-24. Epub 2007 Nov 18.

  8. Stalnaker TA, Franz TM, Singh T, Schoenbaum G. Basolateral amygdala lesions abolish orbitofrontal-dependent reversal impairments. Neuron. 2007 Apr 5;54(1):51-8.

  9. Gallagher M, McMahan RW, Schoenbaum G. Orbitofrontal cortex and representation of incentive value in associative learning. J Neurosci. 1999 Aug 1;19(15):6610-4.

  10. Schoenbaum G, Chiba AA, Gallagher M. Orbitofrontal cortex and basolateral amygdala encode expected outcomes during learning. Nat Neurosci. 1998 Jun;1(2):155-9.

About Dr. Schoenbaum's...

IRP Training Opportunities...

2009 Postbacs
Postdoc, Predoc, Postbac and Summer Student training opportunities available!

2009 Summer Students
Research & Training Program for Under-represented Populations

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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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