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
Yin, Henry H., and David M. Lovinger. “Frequency-specific and D2 receptor-mediated inhibition of glutamate release by retrograde endocannabinoid signaling.” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, vol. 103, no. 21, May 2006, pp. 8251–56. Epmc, doi:10.1073/pnas.0510797103. Full Text
Wang, Zhongfeng, et al. “Dopaminergic control of corticostriatal long-term synaptic depression in medium spiny neurons is mediated by cholinergic interneurons.” Neuron, vol. 50, no. 3, May 2006, pp. 443–52. Epmc, doi:10.1016/j.neuron.2006.04.010. Full Text
Yin, Henry H., et al. “Inactivation of dorsolateral striatum enhances sensitivity to changes in the action-outcome contingency in instrumental conditioning.” Behavioural Brain Research, vol. 166, no. 2, Jan. 2006, pp. 189–96. Epmc, doi:10.1016/j.bbr.2005.07.012. Full Text
Yin, H. H., et al. “Reversible inactivation of dorsolateral striatum enhances sensitivity to changes in action-outcome contingency in instrumental conditioning.” Behavioural Brain Research, vol. 66, no. 2, 2006, pp. 189–96.
Yin, Henry H., et al. “Blockade of NMDA receptors in the dorsomedial striatum prevents action-outcome learning in instrumental conditioning.” The European Journal of Neuroscience, vol. 22, no. 2, July 2005, pp. 505–12. Epmc, doi:10.1111/j.1460-9568.2005.04219.x. Full Text
Yin, Henry H., et al. “The role of the dorsomedial striatum in instrumental conditioning.” The European Journal of Neuroscience, vol. 22, no. 2, July 2005, pp. 513–23. Epmc, doi:10.1111/j.1460-9568.2005.04218.x. Full Text
Yin, Henry H., and Barbara J. Knowlton. “Contributions of striatal subregions to place and response learning.” Learning & Memory (Cold Spring Harbor, N.Y.), vol. 11, no. 4, July 2004, pp. 459–63. Epmc, doi:10.1101/lm.81004. Full Text
Yin, Henry H., et al. “Lesions of dorsolateral striatum preserve outcome expectancy but disrupt habit formation in instrumental learning.” The European Journal of Neuroscience, vol. 19, no. 1, Jan. 2004, pp. 181–89. Epmc, doi:10.1111/j.1460-9568.2004.03095.x. Full Text