Sean Ostlund

Picture of Sean Ostlund
Associate Professor, Anesthesiology
School of Medicine
B.A., UCLA, 2000, Psychology
M.A., UCLA, 2003, Psychology
Ph.D., UCLA, 2006, Psychology, Learning and Behavior
Phone: (949) 824-1347
Fax: (949) 824-9826
University of California, Irvine
3111 Gillespie Neuroscience Research Facility
837 Health Sciences Rd.
Dept of Anesthesiology & Perioperative Care
Mail Code: 4265
Irvine, CA 92697
Research Interests
Motivated behavior, Reward, Addiction and Substance Abuse, Dopamine, Decision Making
Academic Distinctions
2000 Departmental Honors, Department of Psychology, UCLA
2000 College Honors, College of Letters and Sciences, UCLA
2000 Latin Honors, Summa Cum Laude, UCLA
2000-2001 University Fellowship, College of Letters and Sciences, UCLA
2002 Research Mentorship Award, Department of Psychology, UCLA
2002 Predoctoral Travel Award, Department of Psychology, UCLA
2007-2009 NIMH Postdoctoral Training Fellowship (T32-MH17140)
2009 Postdoctoral Travel Award, Brain Research Institute, UCLA
2009-2010 NIDA Postdoctoral Training Fellowship (T32-DA024635)
2010 Best Poster Award, 13th International Conference on In Vivo Methods
2012 Travel Fellowship, 45th Annual Winter Conference on Brain Research
2013 Society of Biological Psychiatry Ziskind Somerfeld Research Award Nominee
2006-2010 Maidment Lab, UCLA Dept of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences
Research Abstract
We use sophisticated behavioral tests to probe fundamental features of motivated behavior and decision making in rodents in order to study the systems that support such behavior and determine how these systems may be dysregulated by environmental factors to produce behavioral pathology, such as compulsive drug use and overeating. We are also interested in how developmental changes in these systems give rise to age-related changes in decision making and motivation. Techniques used in the lab include in vivo fast-scan cyclic voltammetry, optogenetics, behavioral pharmacology (systemic and intracranial drug administration), temporary and permanent focal brain lesions, neuroanatomy, as well as a range on behavioral approaches involving food and drug self-administration.
Selected recent publications

Halbout B, Marshall AT, Azimi A, Liljeholm M, Mahler SV, Wassum KM, Ostlund SB (2019) Mesolimbic dopamine projections mediate cue-motivated reward seeking but not reward retrieval in rats. Elife. 8. pii: e43551. doi: 10.7554/eLife.43551.

Kosheleff AR, Araki J, Tsan L, Chen G, Murphy NP, Maidment NT, Ostlund SB (2018) Junk food exposure disrupts selection of food-seeking actions in rats, Frontiers in Psychiatry. 9:350.

Marshall AT, Ostlund SB (2018) Repeated cocaine exposure dysregulates cognitive control over cue-evoked reward-seeking behavior during Pavlovian-to-instrumental transfer, Learning & Memory, 25(9):399-409.

Marshall AT, Halbout B, Liu AT, Ostlund SB (2018) Contributions of Pavlovian incentive motivation to cue-potentiated feeding. Scientific Reports, 8(1):2766.

Marshall AT, Liu AT, Murphy NP, Maidment NT, Ostlund SB (2017) Sex-specific enhancement of palatability-driven feeding in adolescent rats. PloS one, 12 (7).

Ostlund SB, Liu AT, Wassum KM, Maidment NT (2017) Modulation of cue-triggered reward seeking by cholinergic signaling in the dorsomedial striatum. European Journal of Neuroscience, 45:258-264.

Halbout B, Liu AT, Ostlund SB (2016) A closer look at the effects of repeated cocaine exposure on adaptive decision-making under conditions that promote goal-directed control. Frontiers in Psychiatry, 7:44.

Ostlund SB, LeBlanc KH, Kosheleff AR, Wassum KM, Maidment NT (2014) Phasic mesolimbic dopamine signaling mediates the facilitation of incentive motivation produced by repeated cocaine exposure. Neuropsychopharmacology, 29:2441-9.
R01 DE029202 (PI: Luo) 09/24/19 – 06/30/24 Validation of blocking TSP4/Cava2d1 interaction as a new target for neuropathic pain Role: Co-Investigator
ICAL Pilot Grant (PI: Ostlund) 09/1/2019 – 05/31/20 Adolescent THC exposure and reward-related behavior A subproject of grant DA044118-02 (PI: Piomelli) -- Impact of Cannabinoids Across the Lifespan (ICAL), NIH-supported Center of Excellence Role: Principal Investigator
R21 AG060752 (PIs: Maidment and Ostlund) 02/01/19 – 11/30/20 Identifying motivational decision making deficits underlying the apathy domain in a rat model of Alzheimers disease Role: Principal Investigator
R01 MH106972 (PI: Ostlund) 04/15/16 – 02/28/21 Cholinergic regulation of striatal neurochemistry in cue-triggered decision-making Role: Principal Investigator
R01 AG045380 (PIs: Maidment, Murphy, Ostlund) 08/1/14 – 05/31/20 Neurochemical bases for changes in decision-making across the lifespan Role: Principal Investigator
Professional Societies
Society for Neuroscience
International Society for Monitoring Molecules in Neuroscience
Research Centers
ICAN - Irvine Center for Addiction Neuroscience
CNLM - Center for the Neurobiology of Learning and Memory
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