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Assistant Professor, Psychology



My research focuses on how the brain is able to make detailed predictions about the world in order to guide appropriate behavior and decisions. More specifically, I am interested in how sensory and cognitive systems interact in order to generate specific predictions of future events – a critical component of action, decision-making and memory. 

My principal approach entails electrophysiology and optogenetic manipulations in rats performing carefully-designed behavioral tasks, as well as computational modeling of learning and behavior. 

My broader research aim is to reveal general principles of how predictive information of probable future events are used to guide behavior, and how these mechanisms are disrupted in various disease states including eating disorders and addiction.


Wikenheiser A, Mueller L, Gardner MP, Schoenbaum G (2021). Spatial Representations in Rat Orbitofrontal Cortex. Journal of Neuroscience, Online. [PubMed]

Zhou J, Zong W, Jia C, Gardner MP, Schoenbaum G (2021). Prospective Representations in Rat Orbitofrontal Ensembles. Behavioral Neuroscience, Online. [PubMed]

Zhou J, Jia C, Montesinos-Cartagena M, Gardner MP, Zong W, Schoenbaum G(2021). Evolving schema representations in orbitofrontal ensembles during learning. Nature 590 (7847), 606-611. [PubMed]

Sharpe MJ, Batchelor HM, Mueller LE, Gardner MP, Schoenbaum G (2021). Past experience shapes the neural circuits recruited for future learning. Nature Neuroscience 24 (3), 391-400[PubMed]

Gardner MP, Sanchez D, Conroy JC, Wikenheiser A, Zhou J, Schoenbaum G(2020). Processing in lateral orbitofrontal cortex is required to estimate subjective preference during initial, but not established, economic choice. Neuron 108(3):526-537.e4. [PubMed]

Hart E, Sharpe M, Gardner MP, Schoenbaum G (2020). Responding to preconditioned cues is devaluation sensitive and requires orbitofrontal cortex during cue-cue learning. eLife 7:e38963[PubMed]

Maes EJP, Sharpe MJ, Gardner MP, Chang CY, Schoenbaum G, Iordanova MD (2020). Causal evidence supporting the proposal that dopamine transients function as a temporal difference prediction error. Nature Neuroscience 23(3):176-178. [PubMed]

Gardner MP, Conroy JC, Sanchez D, Zhou J, Schoenbaum G (2019). Real-time value integration during economic choice is regulated by orbitofrontal cortex. Current Biology 29 (24), 4315-4322. [PubMed]

Zhou J, Montesinos-Cartagena M, Wikenheiser A, Gardner MP, Niv Y, Schoenbaum G (2019). Complementary task structure representations in the hippocampus and orbitofrontal cortex during performance of an odor sequence task. Current Biology 29 (20), 3402-3409. e3[PubMed]

Zhou J, Gardner MP, Stalnaker TA, Ramus SJ, Wikenheiser AM, Niv Y, Schoenbaum G (2019). Rat orbitofrontal ensemble activity contains multiplexed but dissociable representations of value and task structure in an odor sequence task. Current Biology 29 (6), 897-907. [PubMed]

Gardner MP, Schoenbaum G, Gershman S (2018). Rethinking dopamine as generalized prediction error. Proceedings Royal Society B. 285:20181645. [PubMed]

Gardner MP, Conroy JC, Styer C, Whitaker L, Schoenbaum G (2018). Medial orbitofrontal inactivation does not affect economic choice. eLife 7:e38963. [PubMed]

Chang, CY, Gardner MP, Conroy JC, Schoenbaum G(2018). Brief, but not prolonged, pauses of firing in midbrain dopamine neurons are sufficient to produce a conditioned inhibitor. Journal of Neuroscience 38 (41): 8822-8830. [PubMed]

Gardner MP, Conroy JC, Styer CV, Shaham MH, Schoenbaum G (2017). Lateral orbitofrontal inactivation dissociates devaluation-sensitive behavior and economic choice. Neuron 96(5):1192-1203. [PubMed]

Chang CY, Gardner MP, Gonzalez Di Tillio M, Schoenbaum, G (2017). Optogenetic blockade of dopamine transients prevents learning induced by changes in reward features. Current Biology 27 (22), 3480-3486. [PubMed]

Choi YK, Gardner MP, Tarazi, FI (2017). Developmental effects of antipsychotic drugs on serotonin receptor subtypes. Synapse 71 (10), e21988. [PubMed]

Lucantonio F, Gardner MP, Mirenzi A, Newman LE, Takahashi YK, Schoenbaum G (2015). Neural estimates of imagined outcomes in basolateral amygdala depend on orbitofrontal cortex. Journal of Neuroscience 35(50): 16521-30. [PubMed]

Gardner MP, Fontanini A (2014). Encoding and tracking of outcome-specific expectancy in the gustatory cortex of alert rats. Journal of Neuroscience 34(39): 13000-17. [PubMed]

Samuelsen CL, Gardner MP, Fontanini A (2013). Thalamic contribution to cortical processing of taste and expectation. Journal of Neuroscience 33(5): 1815-1827.[PubMed]

*Samuelsen CL, *Gardner MP, Fontanini A (2012). Effects of cue-triggered expectation on cortical processing of taste. Neuron 74(2): 410-422. *Authors contributed equally to the work [PubMed]

Choi YK, Gardner MP, Moran-Gates T, Henry B, Shahid M, Tarazi FI (2010). Ex vivo analysis of asenapine-, olanzapine- and risperidone-induced dopamine D1 and D2 receptor occupancy in rat brain. Schizophrenia Research 117(2), 510-511. [PubMed]

Choi YK, Moran-Gates T, Gardner MP, Tarazi FI (2010). Effects of repeated risperidone exposure on serotonin receptor subtypes in developing rats. Eur Neuropsychopharmacology 20:187-194. [PubMed]

Choi YK, Gardner MP, Tarazi FI (2009). Effects of risperidone on glutamate receptor subtypes in developing rat brain. Eur Neuropsychopharmacol 19:77-84. [PubMed]

Tarazi FI, Choi YK, Gardner M, Wong EH, Henry B, Shahid M (2009). Asenapine exerts distinctive regional effects on ionotropic glutamate receptor subtypes in rat brain. Synapse 63:413-420. [PubMed]

Si YG, Choi YK, Gardner MP, Tarazi FI, Baldessarini RJ, Neumeyer JL (2009). Synthesis and neuropharmacological evaluation of esters of R(-)-N-alkyl-11-hydroxy-2-methoxynoraporphines. Bioorg Med Chem Lett 19:51-53. [PubMed]

Si YG, Gardner MP, Tarazi FI, Baldessarini RJ, Neumeyer JL (2007). R-(-)-N-alkyl-11-hydroxy-10-hydroxymethyl- and 10-methyl-aporphines as 5-HT1A receptor ligands. Bioorg Med Chem Lett 17:4128-4130. [PubMed]

Si YG, Gardner MP, Tarazi FI, Baldessarini RJ, Neumeyer JL (2008). Synthesis and binding studies of 2-O- and 11-O-substitutedN-alkylnoraporphines. Bioorg Med Chem Lett 18:3971-3973. [PubMed]

Si YG, Gardner MP, Tarazi FI, Baldessarini RJ, Neumeyer JL (2008). Synthesis and dopamine receptor affinities ofN-alkyl-11-hydroxy-2-methoxynoraporphines: N-alkyl substituents determine D1versus D2 receptor selectivity. J Med Chem 51:983-987. [PubMed]

Tarazi FI, Moran-Gates T, Gardner MP, Graulich A, Lamy C, Liegeois JF (2007). Long-term effects of JL 13, a potential atypical antipsychotic, on ionotropic glutamate receptors. J Mol Neurosci 32:192-198. [PubMed]

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