June 2022

Congratulations to Ash for defending her PhD thesis!

May 2022
Post-doc Hillary Cansler's paper on how the frontal cortex integrates with the olfactory system during selective attention to odors is published in the Cerebral Cortex.

March 2022

Congratulations to Natalie Johnson for receiving an F31 NRSA fellowship from the NIH/NIDCD for her project, "Chemosensory contributions of e-cigarette additives on nicotine use".

November 2021

We're happy to have contributed to the first paper indicating cuasal roles for the islands of Calleja, led by Dr. Minghong Ma, and recently published in Nature Neuroscience. Zhang et al, 2021.

August 2021

Together with our collaborators Drs. Minghong Ma and Marc Fuccillo we are fortunate to have received an NINDS R01 to investigate the role of the islands of Calleja circuitry in grooming behavior.

January 2021
Post-doc Katherine Wright's paper showing manners whereby the nucleus accumbens and olfactory tubercle differ in their encoding of reinforcer seeking and taking behavior is published in the Journal of Neurophysiology.

September 2020
Dan published a Viewpoint in the Journal of Neuroscience arguing for the importance for the olfactory tubercle to be conceptualized as the "tubular striatum" to more appropriately recognize its role in the basal ganglia.

July 2020

Our latest paper on odor valence, including multi-site unit recordings from the OT and PCX, fiber photometry from 2 OT neuron populations, and optogenetics to show behavioral roles for the cells in question, is now out at Cell Reports. Congratulations everyone!

April 2020

Undergraduate student Estelle in 't Zandt is named a 2020 Barry Goldwater Scholar. Congratulations Estelle!

Together with our collaborators Drs. Minghong Ma and Lori Knackstedt we are fortunate to have received a NIDA R01 for an project on the role of the olfactory tubercle in cocaine seeking and taking.

February 2020
Natalie Johnson joins the lab as a PhD student. Welcome Natalie!

January 2020

Dr. Amanda Dossat joins the lab as a Research Assistant Professor. Welcome Mandy!

December 2019

Katherine Wright receives a 3yr NRSA Postdoctoral Fellowship from the NIH/NIDCD to study the modulation of odor learning by estradiol. Congratulations Katherine!

October 2019

Together with our collaborators Drs. Mariella De Biasi and Minghong Ma we are fortunate to have received a NIDA R01 for an exciting project on the reinforcing properties of e-Cigarette flavorants.

August 2019
Dr. Sang Eun Ryu joins the lab as a postdoctoral researcher from Dr. Chiel Moon's lab at Daegu Gyeongbuk Institute of Science and Technology's Brain and Cognitive Sciences Department. Welcome Sang Eun!

July 2019

Dan becomes a standing member of the Neurobiology of Learning and Memory (LAM) NIH study section.

April 2019

Hillary Cansler receives a 3yr NRSA Postdoctoral Fellowship from the NIH/NIDCD to study prefrontal cortex control of olfactory selective attention. Congratulations Hillary!

Dan receives the Young Investigator Award for Research in Olfaction from AChemS.

neuroscience of Olfactory system function and motivated behaviors

The lab


Here in the Wesson Lab we explore the neural processing of sensory information in the context of behavior. This line of questioning provides an ideal platform to test specific hypotheses regarding the neural basis of sensory dysfunction in neurological disorders, including dementias and addiction, wherein sensory processing is aberrant. To accomplish these major goals, we utilize a variety of methods ranging from multi-site electrophysiological recordings from defined brain structures to cutting-edge operant behavioral assays, some of which we perform in viral/genetic models with precise neural perturbations. 

Wesson laboratory

at the University of Florida