Dear all,

the date of our next talk in our 2023 seminar series "NeuroCommunications" is approaching rapidly and we are happy to announce the third talk in the series by


Prof. Stephan Lammel
Dept of Molecular & Cell Biology
Berkeley, University of California


March 29th 2023, 2pm, Ebbinghaus lecture hall

Title: Exploring neural dynamics in reward learning and motivated behavior



Despite decades of research on the properties of ventral tegmental area (VTA) dopamine neurons, the precise information encoded by these cells during reward learning and motivated behavior remains uncertain. I will describe recent work utilizing an approach that combines Neuropixels and optogenetics to record dopamine cells at the single cell level. Specifically, we recorded optogenetically-identified dopamine cells across multiple different VTA subregions in mice performing a reward seeking task. In combination with computational modeling, we found that medial VTA dopamine cells encode reward value, whereas lateral VTA dopamine neurons encode reward prediction errors. Together, these experiments are geared towards developing a more unifying framework of dopamine’s role in reward learning and motivated behavior.


About the speaker
Stephan Lammel has long been interested in the neurotransmitter dopamine (DA), and in particular in the DA neurons located in the ventral tegmental area (VTA). He obtained his PhD in the lab of Dr. Jochen Roeper in Marburg (DE) where he characterized the unique properties of mesoprefrontal DA neurons. He continued his studies on projection-specific DA neurons and their behavioral contribution in the lab of Dr. Rob Malenka at Stanford University (CA, USA), where he focused on the encoding of reward and aversion. He is now an Associate Professor at the University of Berkeley (CA, USA) where he is investigating the multiplex role of DA in the brain and its effect in physiological and pathological conditions.

To learn more about our speaker, visit his lab website: 


The presentation will be hosted by Petra Mocellin on behalf of the Department Cellular Neuroscience. Don’t miss your chance to talk with Prof. Stephan Lammel and reserve your time slot via email to the host [contact Petra (petras.mocellin(at)]! 


Additionally, for Ph.D. students there is the special opportunity to join the speaker lunch at LIN at 12.00 pm. Interested researchers are very welcome to shoot the host an email [contact Petra (petra.mocellin(at)] to sign up for it. External Ph.D. students are also very welcome to join.


We are looking forward to seeing many of you there!

Petra Mocellin & Juliane Jäger

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