Nina earned her B.S. in Psychology with a minor in Neuroscience from the University of Maryland, College Park where she worked in Dr. Matt Roesch’s behavioral neuroscience lab. As a research technician, her projects focused on identifying the role of striatal dopamine release in social behaviors using in vivo neurochemical monitoring (cyclic voltammetry).

As a fifth-year graduate student in the Learning & Behavior program at UCLA, she studies the role of cortico-subcortical neural circuits in cue-guided decision-making and memory retrieval in an effort to better understand psychiatric diseases, such as addiction. She also explored the role of endogenous opioids in these cognitive processes.

She also works with the UCLA Brain Research Institute to co-instruct a drug education outreach program in the local Los Angeles community.

In her free time, she enjoys the outdoors and spending as much time at the beach as possible.


Ph.C., Learning & Behavior, 2018, University of California, Los Angeles

M.A., Psychology, 2016, University of California, Los Angeles

B.S., Psychology, 2012, University of Maryland, College Park


Lichtenberg, N.T.*, Lee, B.*, Kashtelyan, V., Chappa, B. S., Girma, H.T., Green, E. A., … & Roesch, M.R. (2018). Rat behavior and dopamine release are modulated by conspecific distress. eLife, 7, e38090.

Lichtenberg, N. T., Pennington, Z. T., Holley, S. M., Greenfield, V. Y., Cepeda, C., Levine, M. S., & Wassum, K. M. (2017). Basolateral amygdala to orbitofrontal cortex projections enable cue-triggered reward expectations. Journal of Neuroscience, 37(35), 8374-8384.

Lichtenberg, N. T., & Wassum, K. M. (2017). Amygdala mu‐opioid receptors mediate the motivating influence of cue‐triggered reward expectations. European Journal of Neuroscience, 45(3), 381-387.

Kashtelyan, V., Lichtenberg, N. T., Chen, M. L., Cheer, J. F., & Roesch, M. R. (2014). Observation of reward delivery to a conspecific modulates dopamine release in ventral striatum. Current Biology, 24(21), 2564-2568.

Lichtenberg, N.T., Kashtelyan, V., Burton, A.C., Bissonette, G.B., & Roesch, M.R. (2014). Nucleus accumbens core lesions enhance two-way active avoidance. Neuroscience, 258, 340-346.

Burton, A. C., Bissonette, G. B., Lichtenberg, N. T., Kashtelyan, V., & Roesch, M. R. (2014). Ventral striatum lesions enhance stimulus and response encoding in dorsal striatum. Biological psychiatry, 75 (2), 132-139.



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