Professor of Psychology and Neuroscience and Director of Graduate Studies
Education & Training
Ph.D., University of California - Los Angeles 2004
I am interested in understanding the neural mechanisms underlying goal-directed actions. For the first time in history, advances in psychology and neurobiology have made it feasible to pursue the detailed neural mechanisms underlying goal-directed and voluntary actions--how they are driven by the needs and desires of the organism and controlled by cognitive processes that provide a rich representation of the self and the world. My approach to this problem is highly integrative, combining behavioral analysis with electrophysiological techniques as well as tools from molecular biology. In the near future three techniques will be emphasized. 1) Dissecting reward-guided behavior using analytical behavioral assays. 2) In vivo recording from cerebral cortex, thalamus, midbrain, and basal ganglia in awake behaving rodents. Up to hundreds of neurons can be recorded from multiple brain areas that form a functional neural network in a single animal. 3) In vitro (and ex vivo) whole-cell patch-clamp recording in brain slices, with the aid of genetic tools for visualization of distinct neuronal populations. Ultimately, I hope to characterize goal-directed actions at multiple levels of analysis--from molecules to neural networks. This knowledge will provide us with insight into various pathological conditions characterized by impaired goal-directed behaviors, such as drug addiction, obsessive-compulsive disorder, Parkinson's disease, and Huntington's disease.
Reward, action, goal, learning, habit, basal ganglia, brain, motivation
Leblond, Mona, et al. “Motivational state and reward content determine choice behavior under risk in mice.” Plos One, vol. 6, no. 9, Jan. 2011, p. e25342. Epmc, doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0025342. Full Text
de Russo, A. L., et al. “Instrumental uncertainty as a determinant of behavior under interval schedules of reinforcement.” Frontiers in Integrative Neuroscience, vol. 4, Dec. 2010. Scopus, doi:10.3389/fnint.2010.00017. Full Text
Yin, Henry H. “The sensorimotor striatum is necessary for serial order learning.” The Journal of Neuroscience : The Official Journal of the Society for Neuroscience, vol. 30, no. 44, Nov. 2010, pp. 14719–23. Epmc, doi:10.1523/jneurosci.3989-10.2010. Full Text
YU, C., et al. “The role of mediodorsal thalamus in temporal differentiation of reward-guided actions.” Frontiers in Integrative Neuroscience, no. MAY 2010, May 2010. Scopus, doi:10.3389/fnint.2010.00014. Full Text
DeRusso, A. L., et al. “Instrumental uncertainty as a determinant of behavior under interval schedules of reinforcement.” Frontiers in Integrative Neuroscience, no. MAY 2010, 2010.
Yu, Chunxiu, et al. “Genetic deletion of A2A adenosine receptors in the striatum selectively impairs habit formation.” The Journal of Neuroscience : The Official Journal of the Society for Neuroscience, vol. 29, no. 48, Dec. 2009, pp. 15100–03. Epmc, doi:10.1523/jneurosci.4215-09.2009. Full Text
Yin, H. H. “The role of the murine motor cortex in action duration and order.” Frontiers in Integrative Neuroscience, vol. 3, no. OCT, Oct. 2009. Scopus, doi:10.3389/neuro.07.023.2009. Full Text
Yin, H. H. “The role of the murine motor cortex in action duration and order.” Frontiers in Integrative Neuroscience, vol. 3, no. 23, Oct. 2009.
Yin, H. “From actions to habits.” Alcohol Research and Health, vol. 31, no. 4, May 2009, pp. 340–44.
Yin, Henry H., et al. “Dynamic reorganization of striatal circuits during the acquisition and consolidation of a skill.” Nature Neuroscience, vol. 12, no. 3, Mar. 2009, pp. 333–41. Epmc, doi:10.1038/nn.2261. Full Text