Ricardo Bastos-Gonçalves

  • LDT
  • valence
  • motivated behaviors
  • NAc
  • Neuronal circuits

I hold a bachelor’s degree in Applied Biology by the School of Sciences (2020) and I am currently enrolled in the Health Sciences master program of the School of Medicine, University of Minho. I am developing my master project entitled “Investigating the neuronal ensembles encoding valence in the Laterodorsal Tegmentum “, under supervision of Bárbara Coimbra and Ana João Rodrigues. The project aims to understand how positive and negative valence are encoded/represented in a small brainstem nucleus, the Laterodorsal Tegmentum (LDT), in order to elucidate its role in reward- and aversion-related behaviors. Additionally, I am investigating the functional role of the recently discovered projections of the LDT to the Nucleus Accumbens (NAc) by modulating them during behavioral tasks and assessing their recruitment for specific events or stimuli.
I have experience in stereotaxic surgery, optogenetics, animal behavior, immunofluorescence, PCR and fluorescence microscopy (including confocal microscopy).


Brainstem orchestration of cue-reward associations

The brain constantly integrates new sensory information, and associates environmental cues to outcomes, adjusting behavior to maximize reward and minimize unpleasant consequences. This process is critical for survival, and its dysregulation is a hallmark of…

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