Ana João Rodrigues, PhD
The Life and Health Sciences Research Institute (ICVS)
School of Medicine, University of Minho
Ana João Rodrigues is interested in understanding how valence is represented in the mammalian brain and what are the neural substrates underlying a rewarding or an aversive experience. She is also exploring how early life stress in specific developmental windows can imprint long-lasting marks in the brain, leading to maladaptive behaviors (depression, addiction).
In the last years, her team has been allying fundamental with clinical research, combining rodent and human data, using a variety of techniques to find mechanistic explanations on how reward and aversion are encoded in the mammalian brain (rodents – in vivo electrophysiology, optogenetics, calcium imaging, behavioral evaluation; humans – fMRI, neuropsychological evaluation).