A neuroscientist walks into a bar… and immediately tries to press it to get a reward.

NEW DATE & TIME: 2/5/23 (rescheduled from 1/25/23) @ 5:30pm

Sunday, February 5
Doors open at 5pm • Talk begins at 5:30pm

Abandoned Building Brewery
142 Pleasant Street #103a, Easthampton, MA

When Enough Isn’t Good Enough:
The Role of the Hippocampus in Reward Learning

  • How does disappointment affect how rewards are valued?
  • Can frustration drive cocaine-seeking behaviors?
  • How does the hippocampus process changing reward values?

Professor Andre O. White

Professor André White first explored the neuroscience behind drug-addiction as an undergraduate student researcher. At Dickinson College, he explored the role specific drug receptors played in methamphetamine-induced behaviors in mice. This work led to his first peer-reviewed publication and a lasting passion for behavioral neuroscience research. He has not strayed far from his early work, as he currently studies the molecular mechanisms that underlie cocaine-associated behaviors. White’s work investigates the complex environmental and genetic factors that modulate addictive behaviors in mice. He seeks to use his research to inform therapeutic and policy approaches to combating addiction.

Prior working at Mount Holyoke, White was an adjunct professor at Santa Ana College and a graduate student at the University of California Irvine (UCI). During his time at UCI, he was awarded the William F. Holcomb Scholarship Award for excellence in biological sciences. White’s thesis work was the first to identify a role for an understudied epigenetic mechanism in cocaine-associated learning and memory. White’s research has been published in peer-reviewed journals, such as “Nature Communications”, “Neurobiology of Learning and Memory”, “Neuropsychopharmacology” and “Journal of Undergraduate Neuroscience Education”.

White is dedicated to facilitating student learning in the classroom and in his laboratory. He is particularly committed to using his research to train students to think critically about neuroscience, addiction and ethics. He has personally mentored students who have furthered their careers at the graduate level and in industry.

White currently teaches Biology 333 (Neurobiology) and Biology 321-AD (Addiction). Students in his course perform classical experiments that are the bedrock of our knowledge about neuroscience and addiction. He also uses techniques that display current scientific innovation so that students get a blend of foundational and modern neuroscience. White’s previous experience as Pedagogical Fellow at the Center for Engaged Instruction at UCI, informs his use of research-based teaching techniques that prioritize student engagement and learning. His classroom is a dynamic environment filled with active learning and primary literature review.

Bring a friend and join us as we enjoy lively conversations, prizes, and brilliant minds. Light refreshments will be available outside the presentation room, first come, first served. This is an inclusive, family-friendly event for people from all walks of life (ALL are very much welcome: kids, college students, your parents!). We promise, you’ll learn something if you come. And hey, you might even win a prize! Remember… Admission is FREE!

SciTech Cafe events are open to any one with a curious mind regardless of age and background.  Our events, prizes, and snacks are free, but donations are appreciated. 

This event is hosted at Abandoned Building Brewery in Easthampton, MA.

SciTech Café is sponsored by: