Principal Investigator


Bernard Balleine : Principal Investigator

Bernard Balleine

Professor Balleine’s research aims to understand the neural bases of the learning and motivational processes that control volitional, or goal-directed, action, an issue that has direct bearing on our developing understanding of the role that the integration of cognitive and emotional systems plays in executive functions and decision-making. Currently his research team is focusing on three primary issues: [1] The role of the prefrontal cortex-basal ganglia network in the changes in goal-directed learning that emerge as a consequence of neurodegeneration, focal brain damage and addiction; [2] The role of the amygdala, its brain stem afferents and its efferents on ventral striatum, insular cortex and midbrain dopamine neurons in regulating the emotional processes through which the reward value of events is encoded; and [3] The role of the thalamo-striatal projection and related cortical connections involving somatosensory cortex in the integration of cognitive and emotional processes necessary for normal decision-making.


Research fellows


Vincent Laurent : Research Fellow

Vincent Laurent

Jay Bertran-Gonzalez : Research Fellow

Jay Bertran-Gonzalez


Post-doctoral fellows


Beatrice Leung : Post Doctoral Fellow

Beatrice Leung

Billy Chieng : Post Doctoral Fellow

Billy Chieng

Genevra Hart : Post Doctoral Fellow

Genevra Hart

Amir Dezfouli : Post Doctoral Fellow

Amir Dezfouli

Miriam Matamales : Post Doctoral Fellow

Miriam Matamales


PhD students


Iain Perkes : PhD student

Iain Perkes

James Peak : PhD student

James Peak

Lachlan Ferguson : PhD student

Lachlan Ferguson

Miao Ge : PhD student

Miao Ge


Honors and masters students


Byron Crimmins : Honors students

Byron Crimmins

Cassandra Ma : Honors student

Cassandra Ma

Nicholas Wilmot : Honors student

Nicholas Wilmot