Loading Events

« All Events

  • This event has passed.

HDR – Shauna Parkes

17 September 2020 / 14:00 - 16:00

Online (please contact before 16 September 2020 to get the link.

HDR defense in english

Psychological and neural substrates of adaptive behaviour

My research is dedicated to understanding how we and other organisms successfully adjust to our ever changing environment. To achieve this, I have developed an approach grounded in associative learning theory to study, in rodents, the involvement of neural regions and circuits in elementary cognitive processes. During my thesis, I identified brain regions required to integrate multiple predictive cues in a fear conditioning paradigm. I also showed that fear itself changes how the brain processes stimuli in our environment. During my postdoctoral work, I studied the psychological and neural bases of choice and value-based decision making. Specifically, I developed a detailed approach that revealed a three-node neural circuit (amygdala, insular cortex and nucleus accumbens) for the encoding and retrieval of reward value and showed that the orbitofrontal cortex is required for flexible, action-guided behaviour. My current research projects focus on understanding the role of context in decision making and incorporate a reverse translational approach to study the pervasiveness of contextual effects in adaptive behaviours.

Key-words : Decision making, learning, behavior, neural circuits, reward

Selected publications

  • Turner KM, Parkes SL (2020) Prefrontal regulation of behavioural control: Evidence from learning theory and translational approaches in rodents. Neuroscience & Biobehavioral Reviews, 118, 27-41, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.neubiorev.2020.07.010.
  • Morceau S*, Piquet R*, Wolff M, Parkes SL (2019) Targeting reciprocally connected brain regions through CAV-2 mediated interventions, Frontiers in Molecular Neuroscience, 12:303, in press, doi: 10.3389/fnmol.2019.00303.
  • Parkes SL, Ravassard PM, Cerpa JC, Wolff M, Ferreira G, Coutureau E (2018) Insular and ventrolateral orbitofrontal cortices differentially contribute to goal-directed behaviour in rodents. Cerebral Cortex, doi: 10.1093/cercor/bhx132.
  • Parkes SL, Furlong TM, Black AD, Balleine BW (2017) Intermittent feeding alters sensitivity to changes in reward value. Appetite, 113, 1-6, doi: 10.1016/j.appet.2017.02.009.
  • Parkes SL, Bradfield LA, Balleine BW (2015) Interaction of insular cortex and ventral striatum mediates the effect of incentive memory on choice between goal-directed actions. The Journal of Neuroscience, 35: 6464-6471,doi: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.4153-14.2015.
  • Parkes SL, Balleine BW (2013) Incentive memory: Evidence the basolateral amygdala encodes and the insular cortex retrieves outcome value to guide choice between goal-directed actions. The Journal of Neuroscience, 33, 8753 – 8763, doi: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.5071-12.2013.
  • Parkes SL, Westbrook RF (2010) The basolateral amygdala is critical for the acquisition and extinction of associations between a neutral stimulus and a learned danger signal but not between two neutral stimuli. The Journal of Neuroscience, 30, 12608 – 12618, doi: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.2949-10.2010.


  • Dr. Etienne Coutureau, DR CNRS, Bordeaux – Président
  • Dr. Christelle Baunez, DR CNRS, Marseille – Rapporteuse
  • Dr. Eric Burgière, CR CNRS, Paris – Rapporteur
  • Dr. Sebastien Carnicella, CR INSERM, Grenoble – Rapporteur
  • Dr. Pauline Belujon, MCU, Poiters – Examinatrice
  • Dr. Francesca Sargolini, PU, Marseille – Examinatrice

Shauna Parkes

More details about Shauna Parkes
Team “Decision and adaptation”

I subscribe to the newsletter:


17 September 2020
14:00 - 16:00
Event Categories:
, ,