2023 Undergraduate Summer Research Program Participant

Home Department: Psychology
Mentor: Neir Eshel (Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences)

“Investigating the Role of D1 Medium Spiny Neurons in Cost-Benefit Decision Making in Mice”

Dopamine release in the striatum is critical for learning and motivated behavior, but how dopamine affects downstream target neurons remains unclear. Anjali’s project involves training mice to perform a task that isolates key components of cost-benefit decision-making. The Eshel lab recently characterized dopamine dynamics during this task. The next aspect of this project is to record from one of the major targets of dopamine release, the striatal medium spiny neurons that express the dopamine D1 receptor, using a fiber photometry technique. Anjali’s plan is to characterize the response properties of D1 neurons on the given task.