Talk | Mathias Pessiglione

19.01.2017 17:00 - 18:30

"Dopamine and reward maximization: insights from pharmacological studies in humans"

Mathias Pessiglione

Motivation, Brain & Behavior (MBB) lab, Institut du Cerveau de la Moelle (ICM), Hôpital de la Pitié-Salpêtrière, Paris, France

"Dopamine and reward maximization: insights from pharmacological studies in humans"

About the talk

Dopamine has been implicated in several aspects of behavioral control: notably motor, motivational and learning processes. In this talk, I will intend to specify a unified computational role for dopamine, based on the simple notion that it may adjust the weight of reward prospect (in motivation processes) or reward obtainment (in learning processes). Such computational role can account for the effects of dopaminergic replacement therapy in Parkinson’s disease, observed during tasks that involve a trade-off between reward maximization and effort minimization. It can be further dissociated from the motor role of dopamine, which may consist in adjusting the rate of muscle contraction/relaxation, irrespective of the rewards at stake.

About the speaker

Mathias Pessiglione has conducted pioneering studies combining cognitive testing, functional neuroimaging and computational modeling, mosty at the Pitié-Salpêtrière hospital in Paris and at the Wellcome Trust Center in London. He is now the head of the “Motivation, Brain & Behavior” lab at the Brain & Spine Institute (ICM) in Paris. His research aims at understanding the determinants of behavior (why we do what we do), in both normal and pathological conditions.


Lecture Hall G (Psychologicum)

Faculty of Psychology
University of Vienna
Liebiggasse 5 (3rd floor, left wing)
A-1010 Wien