The College of Natural Sciences at The University of Texas at Austin
The University of Texas at Austin

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Hitoshi Morikawa
Associate Professor in Neuroscience
M. June and J. Virgil Waggoner Fellow In Molecular Biology

Main Office: PAT 402
Phone: 512-232-9299

Alternate Office: PAT 415
Alt. Phone: 512-232-9485

Mailing Address
University of Texas at Austin
2400 Speedway, PAT 402
Austin ,TX 78712

Hitoshi Morikawa

Research Summary

A large amount of knowledge has accumulated over the past decades implicating the central dopaminergic system in reward-based reinforcement learning, decision making, motivation and locomotion, as well as its dysfunction in the etiology of a variety of neuropsychiatric disorders, such as drug addiction, schizophrenia and Parkinson disease. However, the exact neural mechanisms regulating the functional output of this system are not fully understood and treatments for the disorders described above remain far from ideal. Thus, the overall goal of my research is to advance our understanding of the physiology and pathophysiology of the central dopaminergic system at the cellular, synaptic and local circuit levels. To achieve this goal, my lab employs in vitro brain slice electrophysiology, confocal fluorescence imaging and UV photolysis of caged compounds, combined with behavioral analysis and pharmacological manipulations of specific brain areas.



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