Matthijs van der Meer

Academic Appointments

Associate Professor

The van der Meer lab studies the interplay between learning, memory, and prediction in rodents performing decision tasks. We record and decode the activity of many neurons simultaneously during behavior to reveal the neural representations and transformations that underlie cognitive processes such as deliberation, inference, and planning. Through a combination of neurobiological and computational approaches, we seek a fundamental understanding of these processes at the level of neural circuits, within and across interacting brain areas such as the hippocampus, striatum, and frontal cortex. We believe that in the long term, this understanding can support sustained innovation in the prevention and treatment of disorders such as addiction and obsessive-compulsive disorder.

259 Moore Hall
HB 6207
Psychological and Brain Sciences
B.Sc. University College Utrecht
M.Sc. University of Edinburgh
Ph.D. University of Edinburgh

Works in progress

What factors determine the content of hippocampal replay?

How do hippocampal sequences relate to behavior in complex environments?

What is the role of oscillations in routing the flow of information in cortico-hippocampal-striatal circuits?

Selected works and activities

Carey AA, Tanaka Y, van der Meer MA (2019) Reward revaluation biases hippocampal sequence content away from the preferred outcome. Nature Neuroscience 22, 1450–1459

Gmaz JM, Carmichael JE, van der Meer MA (2018) Persistent coding of outcome-predictive cue features in the rat nucleus accumbens. eLife 7:e37275

Carmichael JE, Gmaz JM, van der Meer MA (2017) Gamma oscillations in the rat ventral striatum originate in the piriform cortex. Journal of Neuroscience 37(33):7962-7974

Pezzulo G, Kemere C, van der Meer MA (2017) Internally generated hippocampal sequences as a vantage point to probe future-oriented forms of cognition. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences 1396: 144-165

van der Meer MA, Carey AA, Tanaka Y (2017) Optimizing for generalization in the decoding of internally generated activity in the hippocampus. Hippocampus 27(5):580-595

Catanese J, Carmichael JE, van der Meer MA (2016) Low and high gamma oscillations deviate in opposite directions from zero phase synchrony in the limbic corticostriatal loop. Journal of Neurophysiology 116(1): 5-17

Malhotra S, Cross RW, Zhang A, van der Meer MA (2015) Ventral striatal gamma oscillations are highly variable from trial to trial, dominated by behavioral state, and only weakly influenced by outcome value. European Journal of Neuroscience 42(10): 2818–2832

Pezzulo G, van der Meer MA, Lansink CS, Pennartz CMA (2014) Internally generated sequences in learning and executing goal-directed behavior. Trends in Cognitive Sciences 18(12): 647-657

van der Meer MA, Ito R, Lansink CS, Pennartz CMA (2014) Hippocampal projections to the ventral striatum: from spatial memory to motivated behavior. Invited Contribution for "Space, Time & Memory in the Hippocampal Formation" (Knierim JJ and Derdikman D, eds.), Springer.

Caze R, van der Meer MA (2013) Adaptive properties of differential learning rates for positive and negative outcomes. Biological Cybernetics 107(6): 711-719

Malhotra S, Cross RW, van der Meer MA (2012) Theta phase precession beyond the hippocampus. Reviews in the Neurosciences 23(1): 39-65

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