Peter Balsam, PhD

Profile Navigation

Overview

Academic Appointments

  • Adjunct Professor of Medical Psychology (in Psychiatry)

Most of our research investigates how time affects learning and behavior. The idea is that all of our actions and representations of the world are based on temporal knowledge. Many psychiatric and neurological diseases produce a disordered sense of time. Depressed people cannot anticipate good things in their future. Drug addicts are impulsive and have difficulty anticipating delayed consequences. Schizophrenics often have a disordered sense of time. Thus an understanding of the psychology of time and the brain mechanisms that underlie it are likely to provide new ways of approaching these problems. Temporal information processing is modulated by dopamine. Consequently, diseases that involve dysfunction in the dopamine systems (e.g. Parkinson's, schizophrenia, addiction, etc.) may be sensitively assayed by monitoring performance on timing tasks.

It is our lab's goal to translate our basic knowledge of cognitive/behavioral processes into essential tools for diagnosis, monitoring treatment efficacy and drug discovery.

Research

The lab studies how time is encoded during learning and how it is used to flexibly guide behavior. We also study timing distortions associated with Psychiatric disorders.

Most of our research investigates how time affects learning and behavior. The idea is that all of our actions and representations of the world are based on temporal knowledge. Many psychiatric and neurological diseases produce a disordered sense of time. Depressed people cannot anticipate good things in their future. Drug addicts are impulsive and have difficulty anticipating delayed consequences. Schizophrenics often have a disordered sense of time. Thus an understanding of the psychology of time and the brain mechanisms that underlie it can provide new ways of approaching these problems. It is our lab’s goal to translate our basic knowledge of cognitive/behavioral processes into essential tools for diagnosis, monitoring treatment efficacy and drug discovery.

Grants

TO STUDY THE EFFECTS OF THE DOPAMINE D2/D3 PARTIAL AGONIST ANTIPSYCHOTIC CARIPRAZINE ON MOTIVATION IN MICE OVEREXPRESSING D3 RECEPTORS (Private)

Apr 26 2016 - Apr 25 2017

MEDIUM SPINY NEURON EXCITABILITY AND MOTIVATION (Federal Gov)

May 20 2011 - Sep 30 2016

FURTHER BEHAVIORAL STUDIES IN DOPAMINE RECEPTOR OVER-EXPRESSING MICE (Private)

Jan 8 2013 - Dec 31 2014

PROFILING OF CARIPRAZINE AND COMPARATORS IN ANIMAL MODELS OF MOTIVATION (NEGATIVE SYMPTOMS (Private)

Nov 15 2013 - Dec 1 2014

TIMING AND ASSOCIATIVE LEARNING (Federal Gov)

Apr 1 2009 - Feb 28 2013

ACCUMBENS CODING OF REWARD EXPECTATION: ELECTROPHYSIOLOGY AND NEUROPHARMACOLOGY (Federal Gov)

Oct 1 2008 - Aug 31 2011

DOPAMINE D2 RECEPTORS OVEREXPRESSIONS, ADENOSINE A2A RECEPTO RS, AND MOTIVATION (Federal Gov)

Aug 1 2010 - Jul 31 2011

FROM THE LAB TO THE FIELD: PORTABLE MEANS OF PRESERVING CORT ICAL FUNCTION FOLLOWING SLEEP DEPRIVATION (Federal Gov)

Jan 1 2005 - Feb 28 2010

Selected Publications

  • Bailey, M.R., Jensen, G., Taylor, K., Mezias, C., Williamson, C., Silver, R., Simpson, E.H., Balsam, P.D:  A novel strategy for dissecting goal-directed action and arousal components of motivated behavior.  Behavioral Neuroscience  in press
  • Parnaudeau, S., Taylor, K.T., Bolkan, S .S., Ward, R.D., Balsam, P. & Kellendonk, C.: Mediodorsal Thalamus Hypofunction Impairs Flexible Goal-Directed Behavior. .  Biological Psychiatry  2015;77: 445-53
  • Gallistel, R.C. & Balsam, P.D : Time to rethink the neural mechanisms of learning and memory.  Neurobiology of Learning and Memory  2014;108: 136-44.
  • Simpson, E.H., Waltz, J.A., Kellendonk, C., Balsam, P.D.: Schizophrenia in Translation: Dissecting Motivation in Schizophrenia and Rodents..   Schizophrenia Bulletin  2012;38: 1111-1117
  • Simpson, E.H., Kellendonk, C., Ward, R.D., Richards, V., Lipatova, O., Fairhurst, S., Kandel, E.R. and Balsam, P.D.: Pharmacologic rescue of motivational deficit in an animal model of the negative symptoms of schizophrenia..   Biological Psychiatry  2011;69: 928-35