Work in our laboratory is broadly aimed at exposing the psychological processes and neural mechanisms that underlie appetitive associative learning, motivation and decision making. We are particularly interested in the neurochemical determinants of such processes and the brain circuits that control motivated behavior. We take a multi-disciplinary approach to our research, combining instrumental and Pavlovian behavioral paradigms, advanced neurochemical monitoring technologies, and interference methods. All of our work is aimed at understanding the maladaptive reward-related behavior that marks disorders such as drug or alcohol addiction and overeating to aid in the development of pharmacotherapies for these and other mental illnesses.