Jon Horvitz

Basal Ganglia and Motivation

Jon Horvitz

We are examining how reward experiences shape the activity of the basal ganglia, and how the basal ganglia help us to choose our goals and our very next actions.

City College of New York

Jon Horvitz is a faculty member in the Psychology Department at CCNY, and in the Behavioral and Cognitive Neuroscience Program of the CUNY Neuroscience Collaborative.

Our current work involves theoretical models of basal ganglia function, learning and motivation. If you are a prospective grad student with experience in computer programming and an interest in compututational modeling, contact Jon Horvitz.

Recent publications:
  • Stamos, J., Ma, S., Pawlak, A., Engelhard, N., Horvitz, J.C., West, M.O. Reward vs. motoric activations in NAc Core of rats during Pavlovian conditioning, European Journal of Neuroscience, 1-21, 2022
  • Horvitz, J.H. and Jacobs, B.L Principles of Behavioral Neuroscience (Textbook), Cambridge University Press, July 2022
  • Dobrovitsky, V., West, M.O. and Horvitz, J.C. The role of the nucleus accumbens in learned approach behavior diminishes with training, European Journal of Neuroscience, 50: 3403-15, 2019.
  • Vega-Villar, M., Horvitz, J.C., Nicola, S.M.,  NMDA receptor-dependent plasticity in the nucleus accumbens connects reward-predictive cues to approach responses, Nature Communications, 10: 4429, 2019 

This site now has tutorial pages for Beginners and for those with Advanced neuroscience background. The Beginner Tutorial will provide general background on brain, mind and behavior. The Advanced page will point to concepts and readings relevant to the neurobiology of motivation and reward-based learning.