Wednesday, April 19, 2023

Grand Rounds: Kent Berridge, Ph.D., M.A.

10:30 AM to 12:00 PM

Rachel Upjohn Building Auditorium and virtually


This lecture is part of a series of annual neuroscience lectures honoring Dr. Albert Barrett, a neuropathologist from Harvard who was the first Chair of the Department of Psychiatry at Michigan. 

Albert Barrett Neuroscience Lecture

COI: None disclosed
CE: CME, APA, Social Work


Kent Berridge, Ph.D., M.A.

Kent Berridge, Ph.D., M.A.

James Olds Distinguished University Professor of Psychology and Neuroscience
Department of Psychology
University of Michigan

Dr. Berridge's faculty profile on the Department of Psychology site

Presentation abstract: Liking and wanting for pleasant rewards usually go together, but turn out to have separable brain mechanisms. The separation of motivational ‘wanting’ from hedonic ‘liking’ has been demonstrated by various brain manipulations in animal laboratory experiments, but also carries implications for several human clinical conditions. For example, in addictions sensitization of mesolimbic dopamine systems of incentive salience may cause ‘wanting’ to soar above ‘liking’ for an addicted target. Conversely, some syndromes traditionally viewed as anhedonia or loss of pleasure liking in schizophrenia, depression, or Parkinson’s disease may be better described as avolition or selective loss of  ‘wanting’. Finally, mesolimbic ‘wanting’ systems of motivational incentive salience may be capable of flipping valence to become fearful salience in some forms of paranoia. 

Research in the Berridge lab seeks better answers to questions such as:

  • How is pleasure generated in the brain?
  • What are the neural bases of reward wanting and liking?
  • How are rewards learned?
  • How do brain motivation systems work?
  • How is appetite controlled?
  • What causes addiction?
  • How does the brain distinguish pleasant from unpleasant?
  • How does fear relate to desire?

The lab uses optogenetic, drug microinjection, and other painless techniques to manipulate neural components of mesocorticolimbic systems in rodents, combined with sophisticated behavioral analysis techniques to assess changes in reward learning, ‘liking’, and ‘wanting’ or other motivation processes.  Each graduate student in our lab has an individualized research program focused on a selection from these topics guided by their own interests.


Shelly Flagel, Ph.D.

Associate Professor of Psychiatry
Co-Director, Michigan Neuroscience Institute
Research Associate Professor, Michigan Neuroscience Institute
Associate Director Academic Program, Neuroscience Graduate Program
Adjunct Associate Professor in Psychology