Howard Fields, MD, PhD

Professor Emeritus
Neurology and Physiology

Neural Circuitry of Motivation

My interest in opioid analgesia and addiction is an outgrowth of my research on pain, pain modulation and reward circuits. Both chronic pain and addiction represent dysfunction of neural mechanisms of decision making.  My laboratory is closed, however, I am working in collaboration with other UCSF laboratories utilizing in vivo and in vitro electrophysiology and behavioral pharmacology to study mesolimbic circuits involved in goal directed behaviors. Our joint interest is on how opioid regulation of synaptic function modulates reward seeking and response to punishment.