Craig W. Berridge

Position title: Professor, Department of Psychology


Phone: (608) 265-5938




Ph.D. in Neuroscience, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL, USA

Research Description:

My research has made multiple significant contributions to the field of behavioral neuroscience, many of which were rapidly replicated by others. In my earlier research I developed methodologies that permitted the definitive demonstration that the LCnorepinephrine system exerts potent wakepromoting actions. This multidisciplinary work spanning electrophysiology, neurochemical measures, behavioral measures, pharmacological manipulations and anatomical observations, settled nearly two decades of debate on this topic. More recently, my lab was at the forefront in developing paradigms to study the neural substrates underlying the procognitive actions of clinicallyrelevant doses of methylphenidate (Ritalin) as it relates to ADHD. Taking a multidisciplinary approach that combined pharmacokinetics, microdialysis, cognitive testing, intratissue drug delivery and electrophysiology, we provided the first empirical evidence for a pivotal role of PFC catecholamines in the clinicallyrelevant doses of psychostimulants used in the treatment of ADHD (methylphenidate/Ritalin). Our major conclusion that the PFC plays a central role in the cognitionenhancing/therapeutic actions of Ritalin has been replicated by others using both rodents and monkeys (see work by Dr. Amy Arnsten and Dr. Barry Waterhouse). Most recently, we demonstrated robust cognitive actions of PFC CRF neurons and receptors. As part of this, we developed novel chemogenetic methods to selectively target PFC CRF neurons and determine their actions on working memory, sustained attention and cognitionrelated neural coding in frontostriatal systems in male and female rats. This work provides the first demonstration that CRF neurons in the PFC act via multiple pathways to regulate distinct cognitive processes.

Research Key Words:

Behavioral/Systems Neuroscience, Neurotransmitter Regulation of Stress

Diversity Statement:

I believe we are morally obligated to create an environment in which everyone is treated with respect and feels included, regardless of race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender identity, sex, age, religious beliefs, socioeconomic status, or ability.

Link to Lab Website

Link to Publications