Peter Holland

Krieger-Eisenhower Professor and Chair of Psychology, Professor of Neuroscience

I am interested in mechanisms of behavior, especially the roles of amygdala and hypothalamus in modulating functions of cortical and striatal systems, and the use of computational approaches to understanding functional brain connectivity. My empirical research used a variety of behavioral and neurobiological techniques to study associative learning in rodents. As a result of associative learning, environmental cues acquire the ability not only to elicit particular goal-directed responses, but also to evoke sensorily-rich representations of their associates, alter the allocation of attention in the control of current action and subsequent learning, and endow previously neutral events with motivational significance. My research examined commonality in the processing of real events and their associatively-activated representations, the role of confirmations and violations of learned expectancies in attention, and mechanisms by which cues related to the presentation and removal of food acquire the ability to override normal satiety systems and control binge eating in the absence of energetic needs for consumption.