Laura Corbit

Academic Title: Assistant Professor

Campus: St George

CSB Appointment: Cross Appointment

Primary Undergraduate Department:
Department of Psychology

Graduate Programs:
Cell & Systems Biology
Psychology

Titles and Honors:

Academic or Administrative Appointments:

Education:
Ph.D. University of California, Los Angeles, 2003
BSc University of King’s College, 1997
Mailing Address
Department of Psychology,
University of Toronto,
100 St. George St.,
Toronto, ON M5S 3G3,
Canada.
Contact Information
Office phone: 416-978-7817
Office: SS 4037
Lab: RW 313
Lab phone:
Email: corbit@psych.utoronto.ca
URL:
Research Areas
Animal Biology
Neurobiology
Physiology
Psychology and Behavior
Research

The main goal of my research is to understand the neural bases of decision making and behavioural control. Current research in the lab focuses on two themes. The first is to understand the role of distinct brain nuclei and circuits in learning about the consequences of different behaviours and how we use this information to choose between different courses of action. We focus on cortico-striatal circuits and are interested in how life experiences such as drug exposure, diet or stress affect function in these circuits and alter the balance between goal-directed and habitual learning strategies. Second, we are interested in how previous learning is updated and modified and the role of different pharmacological systems in promoting plasticity that underlies this type of learning. We take a multidisciplinary approach to our research, combining sophisticated behavioral paradigms with a range of state-of-the-art neuroscience techniques including electrophysiological recording, optogenetic manipulation and pharmacological methods. The capacity to encode the consequences of our behaviours and modify previous learning when conditions change is at the heart of flexible decision making and deficits in this ability may underlie a range of neuropsychiatric disorders. We hope that improved understanding of learning-related plasticity will lead to novel therapeutic strategies.

Publications

2018

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Noradrenergic β-receptor antagonism in the basolateral amygdala impairs reconsolidation, but not extinction, of alcohol self-administration: Intra-BLA propranolol impairs reconsolidation of alcohol self-administration. Chesworth R, Corbit LH. Neurobiol Learn Mem. 2018 May;151:59-70. doi: 10.1016/j.nlm.2018.04.009. Epub 2018 Apr 9.
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Variety overcomes the specificity of cue-potentiated feeding in rats. Kendig MD, Boakes RA, Corbit LH. J Exp Psychol Anim Learn Cogn. 2018 Jan;44(1):56-66. doi: 10.1037/xan0000159.
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Methamphetamine promotes habitual action and alters the density of striatal glutamate receptor and vesicular proteins in dorsal striatum. Furlong TM1,2, Corbit LH, Brown RA, Balleine BW. Addict Biol. 2018 May;23(3):857-867. doi: 10.1111/adb.12534. Epub 2017 Jul 14.
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2017

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Altered Functional Connectivity Patterns Associated With Excess Body Weight: A Bias in Behavioral Control? Biol Psychiatry. 2017 May 1;81(9):732-733. doi: 10.1016/j.biopsych.2017.03.001.
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Peripheral nerve injury impairs the ability to maintain behavioural flexibility following acute stress in the rat. Mor D, Kendig MD, Kang JWM, Gemikonakli G, Austin PJ, Kalman E, Corbit LH. Behav Brain Res. 2017 Jun 15;328:123-129. doi: 10.1016/j.bbr.2017.04.003. Epub 2017 Apr 5.
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2016

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Contexts Paired with Junk Food Impair Goal-Directed Behavior in Rats: Implications for Decision Making in Obesogenic Environments. Kendig MD, Cheung AM, Raymond JS, Corbit LH. Front Behav Neurosci. 2016 Nov 8;10:216. eCollection 2016.
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Changes in the Influence of Alcohol-Paired Stimuli on Alcohol Seeking across Extended Training. Corbit LH, Janak PH. Front Psychiatry. 2016 Oct 10;7:169. eCollection 2016.
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Toluene inhalation in adolescent rats reduces flexible behaviour in adulthood and alters glutamatergic and GABAergic signaling. Furlong TM, Duncan JR, Corbit LH, Rae CD, Rowlands BD, Maher AD, Nasrallah FA, Milligan CJ, Petrou S, Lawrence AJ, Balleine BW. J Neurochem. 2016 Dec;139(5):806-822. doi: 10.1111/jnc.13858. Epub 2016 Nov 9.
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Habitual Alcohol Seeking: Neural Bases and Possible Relations to Alcohol Use Disorders. Corbit LH1, Janak PH2,3. Alcohol Clin Exp Res. 2016 Jul;40(7):1380-9. doi: 10.1111/acer.13094. Epub 2016 May 25.
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Nucleus accumbens core and shell are differentially involved in general and outcome-specific forms of Pavlovian-instrumental transfer with alcohol and sucrose rewards. Corbit LH, Fischbach SC, Janak PH. Eur J Neurosci. 2016 May;43(9):1229-36. doi: 10.1111/ejn.13235. Epub 2016 Mar 31.
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2015

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Learning and Motivational Processes Contributing to Pavlovian-Instrumental Transfer and Their Neural Bases: Dopamine and Beyond. Corbit LH, Balleine BW. Curr Top Behav Neurosci. 2016;27:259-89. doi: 10.1007/7854_2015_388.
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Recent developments in the behavioural and pharmacological enhancement of extinction of drug seeking. Chesworth R, Corbit LH. Addict Biol. 2017 Jan;22(1):3-43. doi: 10.1111/adb.12337. Epub 2015 Dec 21.
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Pulling habits out of rats: adenosine 2A receptor antagonism in dorsomedial striatum rescues meth-amphetamine-induced deficits in goal-directed action. Furlong TM, Supit AS, Corbit LH, Killcross S, Balleine BW. Addict Biol. 2017 Jan;22(1):172-183. doi: 10.1111/adb.12316. Epub 2015 Oct 30.
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The effects of compound stimulus extinction and inhibition of noradrenaline reuptake on the renewal of alcohol seeking. Furlong TM, Pan MJ, Corbit LH. Transl Psychiatry. 2015 Sep 1;5:e630. doi: 10.1038/tp.2015.130.
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Corticostriatal circuitry and habitual ethanol seeking. Barker JM, Corbit LH, Robinson DL, Gremel CM, Gonzales RA, Chandler LJ. Alcohol. 2015 Dec;49(8):817-24. doi: 10.1016/j.alcohol.2015.03.003. Epub 2015 May 14.
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Extinction of alcohol seeking is enhanced by compound extinction and the noradrenaline reuptake inhibitor atomoxetine. Leung HT, Corbit LH. Addict Biol. 2017 Jan;22(1):47-57. doi: 10.1111/adb.12267. Epub 2015 May 14.
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2014

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Habitual responding for alcohol depends upon both AMPA and D2 receptor signaling in the dorsolateral striatum. Corbit LH, Nie H, Janak PH. Front Behav Neurosci. 2014 Sep 2;8:301. doi: 10.3389/fnbeh.2014.00301. eCollection 2014.
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Binge-like consumption of a palatable food accelerates habitual control of behavior and is dependent on activation of the dorsolateral striatum. Furlong TM, Jayaweera HK, Balleine BW, Corbit LH. J Neurosci. 2014 Apr 2;34(14):5012-22. doi: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.3707-13.2014.
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Persisting adiposity following chronic consumption of 10% sucrose solution: strain differences and behavioural effects. Kendig MD, Rooney KB, Corbit LH, Boakes RA. Physiol Behav. 2014 May 10;130:54-65. doi: 10.1016/j.physbeh.2014.03.021. Epub 2014 Mar 22.
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Effects of repeated cocaine exposure on habit learning and reversal by N-acetylcysteine. Corbit LH, Chieng BC, Balleine BW. Neuropsychopharmacology. 2014 Jul;39(8):1893-901. doi: 10.1038/npp.2014.37. Epub 2014 Feb 17.
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2013

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The role of the amygdala-striatal pathway in the acquisition and performance of goal-directed instrumental actions. Corbit LH, Leung BK, Balleine BW. J Neurosci. 2013 Nov 6;33(45):17682-90. doi: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.3271-13.2013.
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Examining the Role of the Human Hippocampus in Approach-Avoidance Decision Making Using a Novel Conflict Paradigm and Multivariate Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging. O’Neil EB, Newsome RN, Li IH, Thavabalasingam S, Ito R, Lee AC. J Neurosci. 2015 Nov 11;35(45):15039-49. doi: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.1915-15.2015.
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2012

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Associative learning mechanisms underpinning the transition from recreational drug use to addiction. Hogarth L, Balleine BW, Corbit LH, Killcross S. Ann N Y Acad Sci. 2013 Apr;1282:12-24. doi: 10.1111/j.1749-6632.2012.06768.x. Epub 2012 Nov 5.
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Habitual alcohol seeking: time course and the contribution of subregions of the dorsal striatum. Corbit LH, Nie H, Janak PH. Biol Psychiatry. 2012 Sep 1;72(5):389-95. doi: 10.1016/j.biopsych.2012.02.024. Epub 2012 Mar 20.
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2011

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Compound stimulus presentation and the norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor atomoxetine enhance long-term extinction of cocaine-seeking behavior. Janak PH, Bowers MS, Corbit LH. Neuropsychopharmacology. 2012 Mar;37(4):975-85. doi: 10.1038/npp.2011.281. Epub 2011 Nov 16.
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The general and outcome-specific forms of Pavlovian-instrumental transfer are differentially mediated by the nucleus accumbens core and shell. Corbit LH, Balleine BW. J Neurosci. 2011 Aug 17;31(33):11786-94. doi: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.2711-11.2011.
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Deepened extinction following compound stimulus presentation: noradrenergic modulation. Janak PH, Corbit LH. Learn Mem. 2010 Dec 14;18(1):1-10. doi: 10.1101/lm.1923211. Print 2011 Jan.
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2010

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Posterior dorsomedial striatum is critical for both selective instrumental and Pavlovian reward learning. Corbit LH, Janak PH. Eur J Neurosci. 2010 Apr;31(7):1312-21. doi: 10.1111/j.1460-9568.2010.07153.x. Epub 2010 Mar 19.
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2007

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Inactivation of the lateral but not medial dorsal striatum eliminates the excitatory impact of Pavlovian stimuli on instrumental responding. Corbit LH, Janak PH. J Neurosci. 2007 Dec 19;27(51):13977-81.
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Ethanol-associated cues produce general pavlovian-instrumental transfer. Corbit LH, Janak PH. Alcohol Clin Exp Res. 2007 May;31(5):766-74. Epub 2007 Mar 22.
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General and outcome-specific forms of Pavlovian-instrumental transfer: the effect of shifts in motivational state and inactivation of the ventral tegmental area. Corbit LH, Janak PH, Balleine BW. Eur J Neurosci. 2007 Dec;26(11):3141-9. Epub 2007 Nov 14.
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2005

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Double dissociation of basolateral and central amygdala lesions on the general and outcome-specific forms of pavlovian-instrumental transfer. Corbit LH, Balleine BW. J Neurosci. 2005 Jan 26;25(4):962-70.
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2003

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The role of prelimbic cortex in instrumental conditioning. Corbit LH, Balleine BW. Behav Brain Res. 2003 Nov 30;146(1-2):145-57.
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Isolation of Sna, a mouse gene homologous to the Drosophila genes snail and escargot: its expression pattern suggests multiple roles during postimplantation development. Smith DE, Franco del Amo F, Gridley T. Development. 1992 Dec;116(4):1033-9.
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Instrumental and Pavlovian incentive processes have dissociable effects on components of a heterogeneous instrumental chain. Corbit LH, Balleine BW. J Exp Psychol Anim Behav Process. 2003 Apr;29(2):99-106.
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2002

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Sensitivity to instrumental contingency degradation is mediated by the entorhinal cortex and its efferents via the dorsal hippocampus. Corbit LH, Ostlund SB, Balleine BW. J Neurosci. 2002 Dec 15;22(24):10976-84.
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2001

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The role of the nucleus accumbens in instrumental conditioning: Evidence of a functional dissociation between accumbens core and shell. Corbit LH, Muir JL, Balleine BW. J Neurosci. 2001 May 1;21(9):3251-60.
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2000

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The role of the hippocampus in instrumental conditioning. Corbit LH, Balleine BW. J Neurosci. 2000 Jun 1;20(11):4233-9.
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