My research project
Tonic Dopamine Modulation via Focused Attention Meditation
Building on findings demonstrating phasic dopaminergic activity along midbrain dopamine circuits, I have found differences in reinforcement learning behaviour between meditators and non-meditators. Using behavioural and electrophysiological methods, I am testing whether these cognitive practices in fact lead to persistent changes mesolimbic or nigrostriatal dopamine metabolism, or whether persons with these pre-existing traits self-select for this type of meditative practice.
University roles and responsibilities
- Graduate Teaching Assistant
In the media
I'm broadly interested in how various neuromodulatory techniques such as brain stimulation, neuro/biofeedback, cognitive training, and diet can inform us about the mechanisms underlying cognitive and affective processes, and how these processes and the systems mediating them can be modulated using these techniques.
Knytl, P., & Opitz, B. (2018). Meditation experience predicts negative reinforcement learning and is associated with attenuated FRN amplitude. Cognitive, Affective, & Behavioral Neuroscience. https://doi.org/10.3758/s13415-018-00665-0