Kyle S. Smith

|Associate Professor
Academic Appointments

Associate Professor of Psychological and Brain Sciences

I conduct research on how the brain works to generate reward, motivation, actions, and habits. My work incorporates techniques to record neural activity, modulate neuronal activity at sub-second timescales, study brain chemistry, and map brain connections. The research is relevant to understanding disorders of reward and action, like addiction, Parkinson's disease, and obsessive-compulsive spectrum disorders.


Moore Hall, Room 266
HB 6207


Psychological and Brain Sciences


  • B.A., Indiana University
  • M.S., University of Michigan
  • Ph.D., University of Michigan
  • Post-doc, M.I.T.

Selected Publications

  • Graybiel AM, Smith KS (2014).  How the brain makes and breaks habits.  Scientific American, June issue (cover article).  Link to site.

  • Bien EA, Smith KS (2023).  The role of sex on sign-tracking acquisition and outcome devaluation sensitivity in Long Evans rats.  Behavioural Brain Research, 455:114656.

  • Townsend ES, Smedley EB, Amaya KA, Smith KS (2023).  Nucleus accumbens core acetylcholine receptors modulate the balance of flexible and inflexible cue-directed motivation.  Scientific Reports, 13, 13375

  • Amaya KA, Smith KS (2021).  Spatially restricted inhibition of cholinergic interneurons in the dosrolateral striatum promotes behavioral exploration. European Journal of Neuroscience, 53(8):2567-2579.

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