Assistant Professor (starting July 2013)
Ph.D., University of Michigan, 2007
Go to Smith Lab Website
The goal of my research is to identify brain mechanisms of reward and action. Specific research questions include:
Where and how is pleasure generated in the brain?How do motivation, learning, and action interact to make habits?What are the roles of these processes in addiction?What are the brain mechanisms of compulsive or ritualistic actions?
To approach these issues, I use experimental tasks designed to isolate reward hedonics, motivation to pursue reward, and flexible versus habitual action. A range of behavioral neuroscience techniques are used to evaluate brain mechanisms: tetrode recording during learning to determine how these processes are represented in patterns of brain activity; optogenetics to evaluate the role of specific neurons or pathways; pharmacology to determine the influence of neurochemicals over brain activity and behavior; and anatomy to establish connection patterns between brain areas.
Smith KS, Virkud, A, Deisseroth K, Graybiel AM (in press). Reversible on-line control of habitual behavior by optogenetic perturbation of medial prefrontal cortex. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
Smith KS, Berridge KC, Aldridge JW (2011). Disentangling pleasure from incentive salience and learning signals in brain reward circuitry. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 108(27):E255-64.
Smith KS (2011). Neuronal correlates of normal and drug-potentiated Pavlovian-
instrumental transfer. Feature commentary on Saddoris et al. European Journal of Neuroscience, 33(12):2272-3.
Peciña S*, Smith KS* (2010). Hedonic and motivational roles of opioids in food reward: implications for overeating disorders. Pharmacology, Biochemistry and Behavior, 97(1):34-46. *authors contributed equally
Smith KS, Tindell AJ, Aldridge JW, Berridge KC (2009). Ventral pallidum roles in reward and motivation. Behavioural Brain Research, 96(2):155-67.
Smith KS, Mahler SV, Peciña S, Berridge KC (2009). Chapter 1. Hedonic hotspots: brain generation of sensory pleasures. In: Berridge KS and Kringelbach ML (Eds.), Pleasures of the Brain. Oxford, England: Oxford University Press.
Tindell AJ, Smith KS, Berridge KC, Aldridge JW (2009). Dynamic computation of incentive salience: 'wanting' what was never 'liked'. The Journal of Neuroscience, 29(39):12220-8.
Pennartz CMA, Berke JD, Graybiel AM, Ito R, Lansink CS, van der Meer M, Redish AD, Smith KS, Voorn P (2009). Corticostriatal interactions during learning and memory processing. The Journal of Neuroscience, 29(41):12831-8.
Zhang J, Berridge KC, Tindell AJ, Smith KS, Aldridge JW (2009). A neural computational model of incentive salience. PLoS Computational Biology, 5(7):e1000437.
Smith KS, Berridge KC (2007). Opioid limbic circuit for reward: interaction between hedonic hotspots of nucleus accumbens and ventral pallidum. The Journal of Neuroscience, 27(7):1594-1605.
Mahler SV, Smith KS, Berridge KC (2007). Endocannabinoids modulate taste 'liking' in the nucleus accumbens. Neuropsychopharmacology, 32(11):2267-78.
Tindell AJ, Smith KS, Peciña S, Berridge KC, Aldridge JW (2006). Ventral pallidum firing codes hedonic reward: when a bad taste turns good. Journal of Neurophysiology, 96:2399-2409.
Peciña S, Smith KS, Berridge KC (2006). Hedonic hotspots in the brain. The Neuroscientist, 12(6):500-11. Review.
Smith KS, Berridge KC (2005). The ventral pallidum and hedonic reward: neurochemical maps of 'liking' and food intake. The Journal of Neuroscience, 25(38):8637-49. Figure erratum in 25(41):9554.
Last Updated: 11/8/12