Stephen Vincent Mahler

Assistant Professor, Neurobiology and Behavior
School of Biological Sciences

Ph.D., The University of Michigan, 2009, Biopsychology

Phone: (949) 824-6128
Email: mahlers@uci.edu

University of California, Irvine
1203 McGaugh Hall
Mail Code: 4550
Irvine, CA 92697

picture of Stephen Vincent Mahler

Research
Interests
addiction, motivation, learning, conditioning, adolescence, development, early-life stress, reward, cannabinoids, dopamine, ventral pallidum
   
URL Mahler Lab
   
Research
Abstract
Brain circuits of “reward” are evolutionarily ancient, and function in a qualitatively similar way in humans and model organisms such as rodents. Such homology should not be surprising considering the strong adaptive pressure on organisms to efficiently exploit environmental opportunities when they are available.

In order to attain a natural reward like food, water, or sex, animals must know what and where rewards are, and how to get them. This is accomplished in part via the brain’s “reward circuitry,” which allows animals to recognize rewards when they get them, to learn about how to get them, and to generate appropriate motivated behavior in pursuit of them when they are available.

We investigate the neural circuits underlying these psychological processes, including learning, motivation, and pleasure. We employ anatomical, pharmacological, and virus-based strategies to examine and control neuronal populations and circuits in rodents, with the aim of understanding how these circuits control behavior. We also examine how and why developmental disruptions, such as poor parental care, and adolescent use of cannabis, causes permanent changes in reward and memory circuits, and the behaviors they control.
   
Grants R00 DA035251
   
P50 DA044118
   
Hellman Fellowship (2018)
   
Other Experience Postdoctoral Fellow
The Medical University of South Carolina 2009—2015

Graduate Programs Interdepartmental Neuroscience Program

   
Research Centers Irvine Center for Addiction Neuroscience
   
Center for the Neurobiology of Learning and Memory
   
ICAL: Impact of Cannabinoids Across the Lifespan
   
   
Link to this profile http://www.faculty.uci.edu/profile.cfm?faculty_id=6315
   
Last updated 07/10/2018