Hannah Baumgartner

Biopsychology PhD Student

Curriculum Vitae

Interests: My research focuses on how various limbic structures and transmitter systems contribute to incentive motivation for natural and drug rewards. Specifically, I am interested in how the attribution of incentive salience to neutral cues occurs, and how incentive motivation may be enhanced by factors such as stress or during extreme cases such as addiction.

Current projects:

  • Investigating the role of corticotropin releasing factor neurons in positive incentive motivation for natural (sucrose) and drug (cocaine) rewards in comparison to their role in negative avoidance
  • Exploring self-stimulation effects of corticotropin releasing factor neurons in the nucleus accumbens and central amygdala
  • Analyzing how distant Fos activation differs following excitation of separate CRF neuron populations
  • Using optogenetics paired with neuropharmacology to investigate the rostral/caudal gradient of eating/fear in the nucleus accumbens

Techniques:

Optogenetics, immunohistochemistry, fluorescence microscopy, neuropharmacology and drug microinjections, operant testing, self-stimulation testing, food intake testing