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Kate Wassum

Work Email Address:
kwassum@ucla.edu

Mailing Address:
Franz Hall Room 8548
Los Angeles, CA 90095
UNITED STATES

Work Phone Number:
(310) 825-5443



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Department / Division Affiliations
Assistant Professor, Psychology, Neuroscience IDP
Member, ACCESS Program, Access Neuroscience Home Area, Brain Research Institute

Research Interest:

Use and advance sophisticated behavioral paradigms, coupled with neuropharmacology and neurochemical monitoring techniques, to elucidate the precise neural mechanisms and systems that underlie discrete aspects of motivated learning and decision-making

My research goal is to use and advance sophisticated behavioral paradigms, coupled with neuropharmacology and neurochemical monitoring techniques, to elucidate the precise neural mechanisms and systems that underlie discrete aspects of motivated learning and decision-making. Moreover, my goals extend to understanding how disorders, such as obesity and addiction, marked by maladaptive decision-making result in such aberrant motivated behavior. Towards this goal my lab uses several approaches in parallel and often in combination: In vivo electrochemistry Fast-scan cyclic voltammetry for real time online monitoring of dopamine; Biosensors for near-real time neurotransmitter measurement (i.e. glutamate); Neuropharmacology; Instrumental Conditioning; Pavlovian Conditioning;

Publications:

Wassum Kate M, Ostlund Sean B, Balleine Bernard W, Maidment Nigel T Differential dependence of Pavlovian incentive motivation and instrumental incentive learning processes on dopamine signaling. Learning & memory (Cold Spring Harbor, N.Y.). 2011; 18(7): 475-83.
Wassum KM, Cely IC, Ostlund SB, Maidment NT, Balleine BW. Disruption of endogenous opioid activity during instrumental learning enhances habit acquisition. Neuroscience 2009; 163(3): 770-80.
Wassum KM, Ostlund SB, Maidment NT, Balleine BW. Distinct opioid circuits determine the palatability and the desirability of rewarding events. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 2009; 106(30): 12512-7.
Wassum Kate M, Cely Ingrid C, Balleine Bernard W, Maidment Nigel T Micro-opioid receptor activation in the basolateral amygdala mediates the learning of increases but not decreases in the incentive value of a food reward. The Journal of neuroscience : the official journal of the Society for Neuroscience. 2011; 31(5): 1591-9.
Ostlund Sean B, Wassum Kate M, Murphy Niall P, Balleine Bernard W, Maidment Nigel T Extracellular dopamine levels in striatal subregions track shifts in motivation and response cost during instrumental conditioning. The Journal of neuroscience : the official journal of the Society for Neuroscience. 2011; 31(1): 200-7.
Wassum Kate M, Evans Christopher J International Narcotics Research Conference - 39th Annual Meeting. IDrugs : the investigational drugs journal. 2008; 11(9): 646-9.
Wassum Kate M, Tolosa Vanessa M, Wang Jianjun, Walker Eric, Monbouquette Harold G, Maidment Nigel T Silicon Wafer-Based Platinum Microelectrode Array Biosensor for Near Real-Time Measurement of Glutamate in Vivo. Sensors (Basel, Switzerland). 2008; 8(8): 5023-5036.
Wightman R Mark, Heien Michael L A V, Wassum Kate M, Sombers Leslie A, Aragona Brandon J, Khan Amina S, Ariansen Jennifer L, Cheer Joseph F, Phillips Paul E M, Carelli Regina M Dopamine release is heterogeneous within microenvironments of the rat nucleus accumbens. The European journal of neuroscience. 2007; 26(7): 2046-54.
Cheer Joseph F, Wassum Kate M, Sombers Leslie A, Heien Michael L A V, Ariansen Jennifer L, Aragona Brandon J, Phillips Paul E M, Wightman R Mark Phasic dopamine release evoked by abused substances requires cannabinoid receptor activation. The Journal of neuroscience : the official journal of the Society for Neuroscience. 2007; 27(4): 791-5.
Cheer Joseph F, Wassum Kate M, Wightman R Mark Cannabinoid modulation of electrically evoked pH and oxygen transients in the nucleus accumbens of awake rats. Journal of neurochemistry. 2006; 97(4): 1145-54.
Heien Michael L A V, Khan Amina S, Ariansen Jennifer L, Cheer Joseph F, Phillips Paul E M, Wassum Kate M, Wightman R Mark Real-time measurement of dopamine fluctuations after cocaine in the brain of behaving rats. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. 2005; 102(29): 10023-8.
Cheer Joseph F, Wassum Kate M, Heien Michael L A V, Phillips Paul E M, Wightman R Mark Cannabinoids enhance subsecond dopamine release in the nucleus accumbens of awake rats. The Journal of neuroscience : the official journal of the Society for Neuroscience. 2004; 24(18): 4393-400.