Wiltgen, Brian J.

Primary Appointment

Assistant Professor, Psychology


  • BS, Psychology, University of Iowa
  • PhD, Psychology, University of California, Los Angeles

Contact Information

Telephone: 4-1458

Research Interests

Mechanisms of long-term memory storage in the hippocampus and neocortex; Neural basis of motivation and goal-directed learning.

Research Description

My laboratory uses a multidisciplinary approach to examine memory at the behavioral, systems and cellular level. The main goal of this research is to understand how information is acquired and permanently stored by neurons in the hippocampus and neocortex. I am also interested in psychological and environmental factors that contribute to the stability of long-term memory. To address these issues I examine spatial and contextual learning in wildtype, transgeneic and knockout mice. These behavioral procedures are combined with cellular and molecular techniques including immunohistochemistry, RT-PCR and in situ hybridization to investigate long-term plasticity changes in the hippocampus and neocortex. In a second line of research I examine the neural basis of goal-directed learning and motivation. This project focuses primarily on the processes by which reward cues gain control over goal-directed actions.

Selected Publications