The Neurobiology of Motivated Behavior [NMB] Study Section reviews applications examining the neuronal circuits critical to the mediation of rewarding and negatively motivated behaviors. Studies reviewed by NMB utilize molecular, cellular, anatomical, and behavioral techniques; however the emphasis of these application is the neurobiological mechanisms that mediate motivated behavior. The focus is on integrative approaches and systems level questions. While NMB primarily reviews applications focused on research in animal models, the panel may also review conceptually similar applications including human subjects research.

The List of Reviewers lists all present, whether standing members or temporary, to provide the full scope of expertise present on that date. Lists are posted 30 days before the meeting and are tentative, pending any last minute changes.

Review Dates

Membership Panel

The membership panel is a list of chartered members only.


  • Positively motivated behaviors: Includes the mediation of drug and other types of reward; mechanisms of tolerance, dependence, withdrawal, and sensitization, as well as predisposing factors leading to drug seeking and relapse.
  • Stress, fear, anxiety, aggression: Examines critical molecules and circuits involved in the mediation of negatively motivated behavior; also, mechanisms of habituation and sensitization leading to altered responsiveness to stressful and aversive stimuli.
  • Feeding, drinking, sexual and other consummatory or social behaviors: Limbic and related circuits are investigated to determine their respective roles in the mediation of such behavior; as well as mechanisms of plasticity, and predisposing factors which may shape such behavior.
  • Neurobiological actions of psychoactive/psychotherapeutic agents: Includes molecular and cellular mechanisms of action of psychoactive drugs on behavior.

Shared Interests and Overlaps

Applications with a primary focus on cellular or molecular mechanisms of addiction, psychoactive or psychotherapeutic agents and positively or negatively motivated behaviors, may be reviewed in Molecular Cellular Neuropharmacology (MCNP), in particular when behavioral analyses are limited.

Studies focused on neural regulation (rather than motivational aspects) of ingestive behavior are reviewed in Neuroscience of Interoception and Chemosensation (NIC), and if focused on the neuroendocrine regulation of ingestive behavior, they may be reviewed in Behavioral Neuroendocrinology, Neuroimmunology, Rhythms, and Sleep [BNRS].

Neurotoxicology and Alcohol (NAL) study section reviews applications focused on the negative consequences of alcohol exposure throughout development and in adulthood, whereas applications in NMB are examining motivational aspects of alcohol addiction.

There are shared interests with the Learning, Memory and Decision Neuroscience [LMDN] study section in the area of motivated behavior.  Applications with molecular, cellular, and neurocircuitry questions related to memory associated with motivated behavior are generally reviewed in LMDN, whereas applications that address regulation of learning associated with the rewarding and aversive cues, may be reviewed by NMB.

Biobehaviorally-focused applications which consider the neural, hormonal, and genetic factors that underlie behavior may be better suited for review in Biobehavioral Regulation, Learning and Ethology Study Section [BRLE].

Applications that model psychiatric disorders, and examine how these mediate cognitive, behavioral, emotional, social, and learning abnormalities may be better suited for review by Pathophysiological Basis of Mental Disorders and Addictions (PMDA).

Applications focused on human subjects and clinical studies on motivated behaviors such as addiction, obesity, or post-traumatic stress disorder and depression are more frequently reviewed in Neural Basis of Psychopathology, Addictions and Sleep Disorders (NPAS), Adult Psychopathology and Disorders of Aging (APDA), Addiction Risks and Mechanisms Study Section [ARM], Interventions to Prevent and Treat Addictions Study Section [IPTA]. If an application involves human subjects and is focused on basic understanding of the neurocircuitry of motivated behavior, NMB may be an appropriate study section.


Last updated: 05/21/2024 06:10