Jocelyn Richard, PhD

Assistant Professor,

Jocelyn Richard

Contact Info

Office Phone 612-626-3872

Lab Address:
3-414 MTRF

Assistant Professor

PhD, University of Michigan

MS, University of Michigan

BA, Occidental College



Research Summary/Interests

The central goal of research in my lab is to understand how external cues and internal states act together to modulate motivated behaviors. We aim to identify neural circuits underlying positively- and negatively-valenced motivated behaviors, and to determine how states such as withdrawal, stress, pleasure and arousal impact this circuitry to modulate the intensity and form of cue-elicited motivational states and actions, especially in models of drug and alcohol abuse. Specific questions include:

  1. Where and how are motivation and value encoded in the brain?
  2. What are the neural and psychological building blocks that contribute to motivated behavior?
  3. How do these circuits contribute to alcohol abuse and relapse?


Richard, J 2019, 'Metabotropic glutamate receptor 5 signaling and appetitive Pavlovian behavior: implications for the treatment of addiction' Neuropsychopharmacology.

Ottenheimer, D, Richard, J & Janak, PH 2018, 'Ventral pallidum encodes relative reward value earlier and more robustly than nucleus accumbens' Nature communications, vol. 9, no. 1, 4350.

Richard, J, Stout, N, Acs, D & Janak, PH 2018, 'Ventral pallidal encoding of reward-seeking behavior depends on the underlying associative structure' eLife, vol. 7, e33107.

Saunders, BT, Richard, J, Margolis, EB & Janak, PH 2018, 'Dopamine neurons create Pavlovian conditioned stimuli with circuit-defined motivational properties' Nature Neuroscience, vol. 21, no. 8, pp. 1072-1083.

Richard, J & Fields, HL 2016, 'Mu-opioid receptor activation in the medial shell of nucleus accumbens promotes alcohol consumption, self-administration and cue-induced reinstatement' Neuropharmacology, vol. 108, pp. 14-23.

Richard, J, Ambroggi, F, Janak, PH & Fields, HL 2016, 'Ventral Pallidum Neurons Encode Incentive Value and Promote Cue-Elicited Instrumental Actions' Neuron, vol. 90, no. 6, pp. 1165-1173.

Saunders, BT, Richard, J & Janak, PH 2015, 'Contemporary approaches to neural circuit manipulation and mapping: Focus on reward and addiction' Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, vol. 370, no. 1677, 20140210.

Volman, SF, Lammel, S, Margolis, EB, Kim, Y, Richard, J, Roitman, MF & Lobo, MK 2013, 'New insights into the specificity and plasticity of reward and aversion encoding in the mesolimbic system' Journal of Neuroscience, vol. 33, no. 45, pp. 17569-17576.

Richard, J, Castro, DC, DiFeliceantonio, AG, Robinson, MJF & Berridge, KC 2013, 'Mapping brain circuits of reward and motivation: In the footsteps of Ann Kelley' Neuroscience and Biobehavioral Reviews, vol. 37, no. 9, pp. 1919-1931.

Richard, J, Plawecki, AM & Berridge, KC 2013, 'Nucleus accumbens GABAergic inhibition generates intense eating and fear that resists environmental retuning and needs no local dopamine' European Journal of Neuroscience, vol. 37, no. 11, pp. 1789-1802.