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

NIH Distinguished Investigator

Cellular and Neurocomputational Systems 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. Gardner MPH, Schoenbaum G. The orbitofrontal cartographer. Behav Neurosci. 2021;135(2):267-276.
  2. Sharpe MJ, Chang CY, Liu MA, Batchelor HM, Mueller LE, Jones JL, Niv Y, Schoenbaum G. Dopamine transients are sufficient and necessary for acquisition of model-based associations. Nat Neurosci. 2017;20(5):735-742.
  3. Takahashi YK, Batchelor HM, Liu B, Khanna A, Morales M, Schoenbaum G. Dopamine Neurons Respond to Errors in the Prediction of Sensory Features of Expected Rewards. Neuron. 2017;95(6):1395-1405.e3.
  4. Zhou J, Jia C, Montesinos-Cartagena M, Gardner MPH, Zong W, Schoenbaum G. Evolving schema representations in orbitofrontal ensembles during learning. Nature. 2021;590(7847):606-611.
  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.

Related Scientific Focus Areas

This page was last updated on Friday, November 2, 2018