Vincent Costa, Ph.D.

  • Assistant Professor, Oregon National Primate Research Center


Dr. Vincent Costa is an assistant professor in the Division of Neuroscience at the Oregon National Primate Research Center. Dr. Costa's research is focused on using computational approaches from reinforcement learning and decision making to understand the function of the mesolimbic circuits in emotion, cognition, and disease. To do this he takes a multidisciplinary approach combining computational modeling of behavior, neurophysiology, neuroimaging, psychopharmacology, and chemogenetic methodologies in rhesus macaques and humans. 

Education and training

    • B.S., 2004, Syracuse University
    • B.S., 2004, Syracuse University
    • Ph.D., 2011, University of Florida
    • Ph.D., 2011, University of Florida
  • Fellowship

    • Postdoctoral Fellowship, Laboratory of Neuropsychology, NIMH, Bethesda, MD, 2011-2018

Memberships and associations:

  • Society for Neuroscience

Areas of interest

  • Reinforcement learning
  • Motivation and emotion
  • Systems neuroscience


Selected publications

  • Costa VD, Mitz A, and Averbeck BB (2019). Subcortical substrates of explore-exploit decisions in primates. Neuron, 103, 533-545. PMID: 31196672.
  • Averbeck BB and Costa VD (2017). Motivational neural circuits underlying reinforcement learning. Nature Neuroscience, 20, 505-512. PMID: 28352111
  • Costa VD, Dal Monte O, Lucas DR, Murray EA, and Averbeck BB (2016). Amygdala and ventral striatum make distinct contributions to reinforcement learning. Neuron, 92, 505-517. PMID: 27720488
  • Costa VD, Tran VL, Turchi J, and Averbeck BB (2015). Reversal learning and dopamine: a Bayesian perspective. Journal of Neuroscience, 35, 2407-2416. PMID: 25673835
  • Costa VD, Tran VL, and Averbeck BB (2014). Dopamine modulates novelty seeking during decision making. Behavioral Neuroscience, 128, 556-66


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