What’s New

Outreach at Noggin Fest

One of our postdocs, Katie Wallin-Miller, gave a talk at Noggin Fest, an event hosted by NW Noggin, a Portland-based organization dedicated to educating K-12 students and the public about neuroscience and art.

The lab has moved to Portland!

Bita has accepted a position at the Oregon Health & Science University as Chair of the Department of Behavioral Neuroscience. The full announcement from OHSU is available here.


Bita Moghaddam was featured in a March 2016 Neuropsychopharmacology Brainpod to discuss her Neuropsychopharmacology commentary about women at the podium. You can listen to the podcast in its entirety here.


A commentary co-authored by Bita Moghaddam was published in Neuropsychopharmacology entitled: “Women at the Podium: ACNP Strives to Reach Speaker Gender Equality at the Annual Meeting.”

Recent Papers 


Wood, J., Simon, N.W., Koerner, S., Kass, R.E., Moghaddam, B. (2017). Networks of VTA Neurons Encode Real-Time Information about Uncertain Numbers of Actions Executed to Earn a Reward. Behavioral Neuroscience. in press (view PDF preprint)

Del Arco, A., Park, J., Wood, J., Kim, Y., Moghaddam, B. (2017). Adaptive encoding of outcome prediction by prefrontal cortex ensembles supports behavioral flexibility. Journal of Neuroscience, . in press (view PDF preprint)

Bueno-Junior, L.S., Simon, N.W., Wegener, M.A., Moghaddam, B. (2017). Repeated Nicotine Strengthens Gamma Oscillations in the Prefrontal Cortex and Improves Visual Attention  Neuropsychopharmacology 42 (8), 1590-1598. view PDF

Park, J., Moghaddam, B. (2017). Impact of anxiety on prefrontal cortex encoding of cognitive flexibility. Neuroscience 345, 193-202  view PDF

Lohani, S., Martig, A., Underhill, S., DeFrancesco, A., Roberts, M., Rinaman, L. Burst Activation Of Dopamine Neurons Produces Prolonged Post-Burst Availability Of Actively Released Dopamine , bioRxiv, 125062 view PDF preprint



Moghaddam, B. (2016) The Complicated Relationship of Stress and Prefrontal Cortex. Biological Psychiatry, 80(10):728–729. view PDF

Simon, N.W. and Moghaddam, B. (2016) Methylphenidate has nonlinear dose effects on cued response inhibition in adults but not adolescents. Brain Research, doi: 10.1016/j.brainres.2016.07.027. view PDF

Park, J. and Moghaddam, B. (2016) Impact of anxiety on prefrontal cortex encoding of cognitive flexibility. Neuroscience, doi: 10.1016/j.neuroscience.2016.06.013. view PDF

Lohani, S., Poplawsky, A.J., Kim, S.G., and Moghaddam, B. (2016) Unexpected global impact of VTA dopamine neuron activation as measured by opto-fMRI. Molecular Psychiatry, doi:10.1038/mp.2016.102. view PDF

Park, J., Wood, J., Bondi, C., Del Arco, A., and Moghaddam, B. (2016) Anxiety evokes hypofrontality and disrupts rule-relevant encoding by dorsomedial prefrontal cortex neurons. Journal of Neuroscience, 36(11): 3322-3335. view PDF


Simon, N.W., Wood, J., and Moghaddam, B. “Action – outcome relationships are represented differently by medial prefrontal and orbitofrontal cortex neurons during action execution.” Journal of Neurophysiology, 114(6):3374-85. view PDF

Kim, Y., Simon, N.W., Wood, J., and Moghaddam, B. (2015) Reward anticipation is encoded differently by adolescent VTA neurons. Biological Psychiatry, doi: 10.1016/j.biopsych.2015.04.026. view PDF

Simon, N.W. and Moghaddam, B. (2015) Neural processing of reward in adolescent rodents. Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience, 11:145-54. view PDF.


Lab Presentations

Moghaddam Lab posters from the 2015 SfN Meeting in Chicago

Lezio Bueno Jr. Nicotine exposure causes parallel increases in prefrontal cortex gamma oscillations and visual attention

Tara Chowdhury Sex differences measured using a novel paradigm to assess approach and avoidance behaviors

Sweyta Lohani Modulation of network activity in the prefrontal cortex by activation of VTA dopamine neurons

Junchol Park Mesoprefrontal neuronal encoding of anxiety-related changes in goal-directed behavior

Nick Simon Chronic nicotine exposure alters approach strategy in rats

Meredyth Wegener Ventral tegmental area and substantia nigra pars compacta exhibit similar neural responses to reward-related cues and events

Jesse Wood The collective activity of ventral tegmental area neurons encodes information about ongoing actions

In the News

University of Pittsburgh, 15 March, 2016, “Just Made a Bad Decision? Perhaps Anxiety is to Blame.” view article

90.5 WESA, 21 April, 2016, “Anxiety Leads to Bad Decisions, But Why? Researchers Find Surprising Answer.” listen and view article

University of Pittsburgh, 29 June, 2015, “Why Does the Teen Brain Value Reward over Risk?” view article

University of Pittsburgh, 29 July, 2013, “Adolescents are What They Don’t Eat, Too.” view article

90.5 WESA, 1 August, 2013, “Pitt Researchers Say Diet Links to Hyperactivity, Learning Problems in Teens.”    view article

Pittsburgh Tribune Review, 30, July, 2013, “Pitt Scientists Link Diet, Hyperactivity.”view article