Geoffrey Schoenbaum, M.D., Ph.D.

Senior Investigator

Cellular Neurobiology Research Branch, Behavioral Neurophysiology Neuroscience Section


Biomedical Research Center
251 Bayview Boulevard
Suite 200, Room 06A705
Baltimore, MD 21224


Research Topics

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;15(3):358-66.

  2. 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;14(12):1590-7.

  3. Stalnaker TA, Cooch NK, Schoenbaum G. What the orbitofrontal cortex does not do. Nat Neurosci. 2015;18(5):620-7.

  4. Sadacca BF, Jones JL, Schoenbaum G. Midbrain dopamine neurons compute inferred and cached value prediction errors in a common framework. Elife. 2016;5.

  5. Lucantonio F, Takahashi YK, Hoffman AF, Chang CY, Bali-Chaudhary S, Shaham Y, Lupica CR, Schoenbaum G. Orbitofrontal activation restores insight lost after cocaine use. Nat Neurosci. 2014;17(8):1092-9.

This page was last updated on November 2nd, 2018