My main research interests center on understanding the brain mechanisms of decisions. Specifically, this involves exploring the impact of environmental factors that contribute to reward-related choice and the incorporation of costs (and value) in learning and decision making. To that end, my lab studies these processes using a combination of behavioral, molecular, pharmacological, computational, and in vivo imaging methods. More recently we have investigated the neurobiological basis for the role of uncertainty, risk, and reinforcement history on learning and choice. A better understanding of the basic neural mechanisms in reinforcement learning and choice behavior contributes, we think, to our knowledge of behavioral and substance addictions in particular.
Dr. Izquierdo received a B.S. in Biology and Psychology from Emory University, and a Ph.D. in Cognitive Neuroscience through the Graduate Partnership Program between the National Institutes of Health and The George Washington University. After completing her doctoral work at the National Institute of Mental Health, she spent two years as a postdoctoral fellow at the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. Dr. Izquierdo is active in a number of national organizations and initiatives that promote diversity and inclusion in STEM.
Hart EE, Gerson JO, Izquierdo A (2018). Persistent effect of withdrawal from intravenous methamphetamine self-administration on brain activation and behavioral economic indices involving an effort cost. Neuropharmacology in press.
Izquierdo (2017). Functional heterogeneity within rat orbitofrontal cortex in reward learning and decision making. The Journal of Neuroscience 37(44): 10529-10540.
Stolyarova A and Izquierdo A (2017). Complementary contributions of basolateral amygdala and orbitofrontal cortex to value learning under uncertainty. eLife https://elifesciences.org/articles/27483
Thompson AB, Gerson J, Stolyarova A, Bugarin A, Hart EE, Jentsch JD, Izquierdo A (2017). Steep effort discounting of a preferred reward over a freely-available option in prolonged methamphetamine withdrawal in male rats. Psychopharmacology 234(18): 2697-2705.
Hart EE, Gerson JO, Zoken Y, Garcia M, and Izquierdo A (2017). Anterior cingulate cortex supports effort allocation toward a qualitatively preferred option. Eur J Neurosci 46(1): 1682-1688.