Satoshi Ikemoto, Ph.D.

Senior Investigator

Behavioral Neuroscience Research Branch, Neurocircuitry of Motivation Section


Biomedical Research Center
251 Bayview Boulevard
Suite 200, Room 08A711
Baltimore, MD 21224


Research Topics

We study neurobiological mechanisms underlying motivation, affect and reinforcement. We are particularly interested in defining brain reward circuitry with respect to neurotransmitters, regions, and connectivity. We also seek to elucidate theoretical (conceptual) issues on the roles that dopamine and related systems play in motivated behaviors. Our behavioral procedures include instrumental and Pavlovian conditioning with optogenetic manipulations, intracranial drug injections and food in mice and rats. We also conduct electrophysiological recordings of neuronal spikes and local field potentials during motivated behavior.

Selected Publications

  1. Nicolas C, Russell TI, Pierce AF, Maldera S, Holley A, You ZB, McCarthy MM, Shaham Y, Ikemoto S. Incubation of Cocaine Craving After Intermittent-Access Self-administration: Sex Differences and Estrous Cycle. Biol Psychiatry. 2019;85(11):915-924.

  2. Wang DV, Viereckel T, Zell V, Konradsson-Geuken Å, Broker CJ, Talishinsky A, Yoo JH, Galinato MH, Arvidsson E, Kesner AJ, Hnasko TS, Wallén-Mackenzie Å, Ikemoto S. Disrupting Glutamate Co-transmission Does Not Affect Acquisition of Conditioned Behavior Reinforced by Dopamine Neuron Activation. Cell Rep. 2017;18(11):2584-2591.

  3. Wang DV, Yau HJ, Broker CJ, Tsou JH, Bonci A, Ikemoto S. Mesopontine median raphe regulates hippocampal ripple oscillation and memory consolidation. Nat Neurosci. 2015;18(5):728-35.

  4. Ikemoto S, Yang C, Tan A. Basal ganglia circuit loops, dopamine and motivation: A review and enquiry. Behav Brain Res. 2015;290:17-31.

  5. Ilango A, Kesner AJ, Keller KL, Stuber GD, Bonci A, Ikemoto S. Similar roles of substantia nigra and ventral tegmental dopamine neurons in reward and aversion. J Neurosci. 2014;34(3):817-22.

This page was last updated on November 2nd, 2018