Kate Wassum

A Short Biography:

Our goals are to 1. Elucidate the neural signals and circuits underlying appetitive associative learning and motivated beahvior and 2. To understand how disruptions in these mechanisms can produce the maldaptive behavior that underlies mental illness.

Associative memories underlie a large majority of our emotions, motivations, and decisions. We strive to understand how these memories are formed and stored in the brain and how they combine with one’s current state to dictate behavior. Our ultimate goal is to facilitate the understanding and treatment of the mental illnesses, such as drug and alcohol addiction, that arise from disruptions in these neural systems.

We take a multidisciplinary approach to our research, combining behavioral procedures rooted in the rich traditions of learning theory with advanced neural recording, interference, and/or molecular methods. We collaborate heavily to achieve our goals.

One aim of the lab is to ‘decode’ the brain signals underlying discrete aspects of motivated behavior and then, using interference methods, to test the causal role for these signals in behavior. Neural circuits, rather than individual brain structures, control complex behavior. So we also work to parse the precise contribution of specific brain circuits to motivated behavior. As part of this, we are assessing how neurochemical interactions within a brain region modulate circuit dynamics. Lastly, we aim to determine the mechanisms regulating the encoding of stimulus-response and action-goal associative memories and the balance of behavioral control between these habitual and goal-directed systems. We focus on cortico-striatal-limbic circuitry. Tool development is also a goal, which we pursue through multidisciplinary collaboration.


Work Titles
UCLA Associate Professor, Psychology Member, Brain Research Institute Member, Neuroscience GPB Home Area

Contact Information:

Work Email Address:

kwassum@ucla.edu


Website:



Work Phone Number:

(310) 825-5443

Mailing Address:

Franz Hall Room 8548
Los Angeles, CA 90095


Publications:

Wassum KM, Greenfield, VY, Linker KE, Maidment NT, Ostlund SB.   Inflated Reward Value in Early Opiate Withdrawal Addiction Biology, 2014; .
Tolosa VM, Wassum KM, Maidment NT, Monbouquette HG.   Electrochemically-deposited iridium oxide reference electrode integrated with an electroenzymatic glutamate sensor on a multi-electrode array microprobe, Biosensors and Bioelectronics, 2013; .
Wassum KM, Ostlund SB, Loewinger GC, Maidment NT.   Phasic mesolimbic dopamine release tracks reward seeking during expression of Pavlovian-to-instrumental transfer, Biological Psychiatry, 2013; .
Wassum KM, Ostlund SB, Maidment NT.   Phasic mesolimbic dopamine signaling precedes and predicts performance of a self-initiated action sequence, Biological Psychiatry, 2012; .
Wassum KM, Tolosa VM, Tseng TC, Balleine BW, Monbouquette HG, Maidment NT.   Transient extracellular glutamate events in the basolateral amygdala track reward seeking actions, Journal of Neuroscience, 2012; .
Lichtenberg Nina T, Pennington Zachary T, Holley Sandra M, Greenfield Venuz Y, Cepeda Carlos, Levine Michael S, Wassum Kate M   Basolateral Amygdala to Orbitofrontal Cortex Projections Enable Cue-Triggered Reward Expectations The Journal of neuroscience : the official journal of the Society for Neuroscience, 2017; 37(35): 8374-8384.
Hersman Sarah, Cushman Jesse, Lemelson Noah, Wassum Kate, Lotfipour Shahrdad, Fanselow Michael S   Optogenetic excitation of cholinergic inputs to hippocampus primes future contextual fear associations Scientific reports, 2017; 7(1): 2333.
Lichtenberg Nina T, Wassum Kate M   Amygdala mu-opioid receptors mediate the motivating influence of cue-triggered reward expectations The European journal of neuroscience, 2017; 45(3): 381-387.
Ostlund Sean B, Liu Angela T, Wassum Kate M, Maidment Nigel T   Modulation of cue-triggered reward seeking by cholinergic signaling in the dorsomedial striatum The European journal of neuroscience, 2017; 45(3): 358-364.
Collins Anne L, Aitken Tara J, Greenfield Venuz Y, Ostlund Sean B, Wassum Kate M   Nucleus Accumbens Acetylcholine Receptors Modulate Dopamine and Motivation Neuropsychopharmacology : official publication of the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology, 2016; 41(12): 2830-2838.
Wassum Kate M, Greenfield Venuz Y, Linker Kay E, Maidment Nigel T, Ostlund Sean B   Inflated reward value in early opiate withdrawal Addiction biology, 2016; 21(2): 221-33.
Aitken Tara J, Greenfield Venuz Y, Wassum Kate M   Nucleus accumbens core dopamine signaling tracks the need-based motivational value of food-paired cues Journal of neurochemistry, 2016; 136(5): 1026-36.
Malvaez Melissa, Greenfield Venuz Y, Wang Alice S, Yorita Allison M, Feng Lili, Linker Kay E, Monbouquette Harold G, Wassum Kate M   Corrigendum: Basolateral amygdala rapid glutamate release encodes an outcome-specific representation vital for reward-predictive cues to selectively invigorate reward-seeking actions Scientific reports, 2016; 6(5): 20891.
Collins Anne L, Greenfield Venuz Y, Bye Jeffrey K, Linker Kay E, Wang Alice S, Wassum Kate M   Dynamic mesolimbic dopamine signaling during action sequence learning and expectation violation Scientific reports, 2016; 6(5): 20231.
Fanselow Michael S, Wassum Kate M   The Origins and Organization of Vertebrate Pavlovian Conditioning Cold Spring Harbor perspectives in biology, 2015; 8(1): a021717.
Malvaez Melissa, Greenfield Venuz Y, Wang Alice S, Yorita Allison M, Feng Lili, Linker Kay E, Monbouquette Harold G, Wassum Kate M   Basolateral amygdala rapid glutamate release encodes an outcome-specific representation vital for reward-predictive cues to selectively invigorate reward-seeking actions Scientific reports, 2015; 5: 12511.
Wassum Kate M, Izquierdo Alicia   The basolateral amygdala in reward learning and addiction Neuroscience and biobehavioral reviews, 2015; .
Wassum Kate M, Phillips Paul E M   Probing the neurochemical correlates of motivation and decision making ACS chemical neuroscience, 2015; 6(1): 11-3.
Ostlund Sean B, LeBlanc Kimberly H, Kosheleff Alisa R, Wassum Kate M, Maidment Nigel T   Phasic mesolimbic dopamine signaling encodes the facilitation of incentive motivation produced by repeated cocaine exposure Neuropsychopharmacology : official publication of the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology, 2014; 39(10): 2441-9.
Tolosa Vanessa M, Wassum Kate M, Maidment Nigel T, Monbouquette Harold G   Electrochemically deposited iridium oxide reference electrode integrated with an electroenzymatic glutamate sensor on a multi-electrode array microprobe Biosensors & bioelectronics, 2013; 42(8): 256-60.
Wassum Kate M, Ostlund Sean B, Loewinger Gabriel C, Maidment Nigel T   Phasic mesolimbic dopamine release tracks reward seeking during expression of Pavlovian-to-instrumental transfer Biological psychiatry, 2013; 73(8): 747-55.
Wassum Kate M, Ostlund Sean B, Maidment Nigel T   Phasic mesolimbic dopamine signaling precedes and predicts performance of a self-initiated action sequence task Biological psychiatry, 2012; 71(10): 846-54.
Wassum Kate M, Tolosa Vanessa M, Tseng Tina C, Balleine Bernard W, Monbouquette Harold G, Maidment Nigel T   Transient extracellular glutamate events in the basolateral amygdala track reward-seeking actions The Journal of neuroscience : the official journal of the Society for Neuroscience, 2012; 32(8): 2734-46.
Wassum Kate M, Ostlund Sean B, Balleine Bernard W, Maidment Nigel T   Differential dependence of Pavlovian incentive motivation and instrumental incentive learning processes on dopamine signaling Learning & memory (Cold Spring Harbor, N.Y.), 2011; 18(7): 475-83.
Wassum Kate M, Cely Ingrid C, Balleine Bernard W, Maidment Nigel T   Micro-opioid receptor activation in the basolateral amygdala mediates the learning of increases but not decreases in the incentive value of a food reward The Journal of neuroscience : the official journal of the Society for Neuroscience, 2011; 31(5): 1591-9.
Ostlund Sean B, Wassum Kate M, Murphy Niall P, Balleine Bernard W, Maidment Nigel T   Extracellular dopamine levels in striatal subregions track shifts in motivation and response cost during instrumental conditioning The Journal of neuroscience : the official journal of the Society for Neuroscience, 2011; 31(1): 200-7.
Wassum KM, Cely IC, Ostlund SB, Maidment NT, Balleine BW.   Disruption of endogenous opioid activity during instrumental learning enhances habit acquisition, Neuroscience, 2009; 163(3): 770-80.
Wassum KM, Ostlund SB, Maidment NT, Balleine BW.   Distinct opioid circuits determine the palatability and the desirability of rewarding events, Proc Natl Acad Sci USA, 2009; 106(30): 12512-7.
Wassum Kate M, Evans Christopher J   International Narcotics Research Conference - 39th Annual Meeting IDrugs : the investigational drugs journal, 2008; 11(9): 646-9.
Wassum Kate M, Tolosa Vanessa M, Wang Jianjun, Walker Eric, Monbouquette Harold G, Maidment Nigel T   Silicon Wafer-Based Platinum Microelectrode Array Biosensor for Near Real-Time Measurement of Glutamate in Vivo Sensors (Basel, Switzerland), 2008; 8(8): 5023-5036.
Wightman R Mark, Heien Michael L A V, Wassum Kate M, Sombers Leslie A, Aragona Brandon J, Khan Amina S, Ariansen Jennifer L, Cheer Joseph F, Phillips Paul E M, Carelli Regina M   Dopamine release is heterogeneous within microenvironments of the rat nucleus accumbens The European journal of neuroscience, 2007; 26(7): 2046-54.
Cheer Joseph F, Wassum Kate M, Sombers Leslie A, Heien Michael L A V, Ariansen Jennifer L, Aragona Brandon J, Phillips Paul E M, Wightman R Mark   Phasic dopamine release evoked by abused substances requires cannabinoid receptor activation The Journal of neuroscience : the official journal of the Society for Neuroscience, 2007; 27(4): 791-5.
Cheer Joseph F, Wassum Kate M, Wightman R Mark   Cannabinoid modulation of electrically evoked pH and oxygen transients in the nucleus accumbens of awake rats Journal of neurochemistry, 2006; 97(4): 1145-54.
Heien Michael L A V, Khan Amina S, Ariansen Jennifer L, Cheer Joseph F, Phillips Paul E M, Wassum Kate M, Wightman R Mark   Real-time measurement of dopamine fluctuations after cocaine in the brain of behaving rats Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 2005; 102(29): 10023-8.
Cheer Joseph F, Wassum Kate M, Heien Michael L A V, Phillips Paul E M, Wightman R Mark   Cannabinoids enhance subsecond dopamine release in the nucleus accumbens of awake rats The Journal of neuroscience : the official journal of the Society for Neuroscience, 2004; 24(18): 4393-400.

Does this profile need updating? Contact Us