Roy Alfred Wise, Ph.D.

Scientist Emeritus

Behavioral Neuroscience Branch, Behavioral Neuroscience Section


251 Bayview Boulevard
Suite 200
Baltimore, MD 21224


Research Topics

My interest is in the brain mechanisms of motivation and addiction. Our current studies focus on the mesolimbic and nigrostriatal dopamine systems, systems that appear to stamp in or "reinforce" stimulus-stimulus, stimulus-response, and response-outcome learning involved in habit formation. These systems are activated by addictive drugs, unexpected rewards, and reward predictors, and they are modified by experience with drugs of abuse. We are interested in the neuronal inputs that carry reward-predictive signals and we are interested in drug-induced modifications that, for example, change the sensitivity of the system to stress. Our current studies are based on microdialysis studies of intravenous drug self-administration and involve interdisciplinary collaborations involving histochemistry, electrophysiology, in vivo voltammetry, and cell biology. Of particular interest are manipulations of the glutamatergic, cholinergic, and CRF inputs to the ventral tegmental area using receptor-specific neurotoxins, small interfering RNA, and viral overexpression of the glutamate-1 transporter.

Selected Publications

  1. You ZB, Wang B, Liu QR, Wu Y, Otvos L, Wise RA. Reciprocal Inhibitory Interactions Between the Reward-Related Effects of Leptin and Cocaine. Neuropsychopharmacology. 2016;41(4):1024-33.

  2. Luo AH, Tahsili-Fahadan P, Wise RA, Lupica CR, Aston-Jones G. Linking context with reward: a functional circuit from hippocampal CA3 to ventral tegmental area. Science. 2011;333(6040):353-7.

  3. Stuber GD, Wise RA. Lateral hypothalamic circuits for feeding and reward. Nat Neurosci. 2016;19(2):198-205.

  4. Gigante ED, Benaliouad F, Zamora-Olivencia V, Wise RA. Optogenetic Activation of a Lateral Hypothalamic-Ventral Tegmental Drive-Reward Pathway. PLoS One. 2016;11(7):e0158885.

  5. Barbano MF, Wang HL, Morales M, Wise RA. Feeding and Reward Are Differentially Induced by Activating GABAergic Lateral Hypothalamic Projections to VTA. J Neurosci. 2016;36(10):2975-85.

This page was last updated on December 17th, 2018