Jocelyn Richard

Assistant Professor


Jocelyn received her BA in psychobiology from Occidental College, where she worked in the lab of Nancy Dess, and completed her PhD at the University of Michigan in Kent Berridge's laboratory. Jocelyn conducted her postdoctoral work with Howard Fields at UCSF, and Patricia Janak at Johns Hopkins University, where she focused on dissecting the functional contributions of activity in ventral pallidal neurons to reward seeking behavior. She is particularly interested in how the brain generates signals related to learning, affect and motivation, and how these signals are altered in models of addiction and neuropsychiatric disease. These questions are the focus of her lab's work at the University of Minnesota.

Research Summary

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




3-220 MTRF

Minneapolis, MN 55455-3007