Warden Lab



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Gu W, Luozhong S, Cai S, Londhe K, Elkasri N, Hawkins R, Yuan Z, Su-Greene K, Yin Y, Cruz M, Chang YW, McMullen P, Wu C, Seo S, Guru A, Gao W, Sarmiento T, Schaffer C, Nishimura N, Cerione R, Yu Q, Warden MR, Langer R, Jiang S. Extracellular vesicles incorporating retrovirus-like capsids for the enhanced packaging and systemic delivery of mRNA into neurons. Nat. Biomed. Eng. 2024 Feb 19.




Ho YY, Yang Q, Boddu P, Bulkin DA, Warden MR. Ventromedial prefrontal parvalbumin neurons are necessary for initiating cued threat avoidance. eLife. 2023 Nov 27;12:RP91221.


Troconis EL, Seo C, Guru A, Warden MR. Serotonin neurons in mating female mice are activated by male ejaculation. Curr Biol. 2023 Nov 20;33(22):4926-4936.e4. Published online Oct. 20, 2023.


Mikkelsen C, Charczynski SJ, Warden MR, Miller EK, Howard M. Coding of time with non-linear mixed selectivity in prefrontal cortex ensembles. bioRxiv 2023.04.07.535754.


Miller CH, Hillock MF, Yang J, Carlson-Clarke B, Haxhillari K, Lee AY, Haxhillari K, Lee AY, Warden MR, Sheehan MJ. Dynamic changes to signal allocation rules in response to variable social environments in house mice. Commun Biol. 2023 Mar 21;6(297).

Cornell Chronicle: Imaging captures social dynamics of 'pee-shy' mice


Lundqvist M, Brincat SL, Rose J, Warden MR, Buschman TJ, Miller EK, Herman P. Working memory control dynamics follow principles of spatial computing. Nat Commun. 2023 Mar 14;14(1429).




Post RJ*, Bulkin DA*, Ebitz RB, Lee V, Han K, Warden MR. Tonic activity in lateral habenula neurons acts as a neutral valence brake on reward-seeking behavior. Curr Biol. 2022 Oct 24;32(20):4325-4336.e5. Published online Aug. 31, 2022.

* equal contribution

Cornell Chronicle: Study finds tiny brain area controls work for rewards


Miller CH, Reichard TM, Yang J, Carlson-Clarke B, Vogt CC, Warden MR, Sheehan MJ. Reproductive state switches the valence of male urinary pheromones in female mice. bioRxiv 2022.08.22.504866.


Lundqvist M, Rose J, Brincat SL, Warden MR, Buschman T, Herman P, Miller EK. Reduced variability of bursting activity during working memory. Sci Rep. 2022;12:15050.




Guru A, Seo C, Post RJ, Kullakanda DS, Schaffer JA, Warden MR. Ramping activity in midbrain dopamine neurons signifies the use of a cognitive map. bioRxiv 2020.05.21.108886.

Public talk on this paper: "Ramping activity in midbrain dopamine neurons signifies the use of a cognitive map"  Virtual Dopamine Conference (ViDA) 2021


Wang T, Wu C, Ouzounov DG, Gu W, Xia F, Kim M, Yang X, Warden MR, Xu, C. Quantitative Analysis of 1300-nm Three-photon Calcium Imaging in the Mouse Brain. eLife. 2020;9:e53205.




Seo C*, Guru A*, Jin M, Ito B, Sleezer BJ, Ho YY, Wang E, Boada C, Krupa NA, Kullakanda DS, Shen CX, Warden MR. Intense threat switches dorsal raphe serotonin neurons to a paradoxical operational mode. Science. 2019 Feb 1;363(6426):aau8722.

* equal contribution

Psychology Today. Serotonin Plays a Surprising Role in Fight-Flight-or-Freeze

Cornell Chronicle. Fight or flight: Serotonin neurons prompt brain to make the right call

Public talk on this paper: "Neuromodulation and the balance between goal-directed and reactive behavior," Joint Seminar in Neuroscience, UCLA 2020




Post RJ, Warden MR. Melancholy, anhedonia, apathy: the search for separable behaviors and neural circuits in depression. Curr Opin Neurobiol. 2018 Apr;49:192-200.


Wang M, Wang T, Wu C, Li B, Ouzounov DG, Sinefeld D, Guru A, Nam HS, Capecchi MR, Warden MR, Xu C. In vivo three-photon imaging of deep cerebellum. In Multiphoton Microscopy in the Biomedical Sciences XVIII. 2018 Feb 23 (Vol. 10498). International Society for Optics and Photonics.


Lundqvist M, Herman P, Warden MR, Brincat SL, Miller EK. Gamma and beta bursts during working memory readout suggest roles in its volitional control. Nat Commun. 2018 Jan 26;9(1):394.




Lindsay, GW, Rigotti M, Warden MR, Miller EK, Fusi S. Hebbian Learning in a Random Network Captures Selectivity Properties of Prefrontal Cortex. J Neurosci. 2017 Nov 8;37(45):11021-11036.




Ferenczi EA, Zalocusky KA, Liston C, Grosenick L, Warden MR, Amatya D, Katovich K, Mehta H, Patenaude

B, Ramakrishnan C, Kalanithi P, Etkin A, Knutson B, Glover GH, Deisseroth K. Prefrontal cortical regulation of brainwide circuit dynamics and reward-related behavior. Science. 2016 Jan 1;351(6268):aac9698.




Sidor MM, Spencer SM, Dzirasa K, Parekh PK, Tye KM, Warden MR, Arey RN, Enwright JF 3rd, Jacobsen JP, Kumar S, Remillard EM, Caron MG, Deisseroth K, McClung, CA. Daytime spikes in dopaminergic activity drive rapid mood-cycling in mice. Mol Psychiatry. 2015 Nov;20(11):1406-19.


Guru A, Post RJ, Ho YY, Warden MR. Making sense of optogenetics. Int J Neuropsychoph. 2015 Jul 25:1-8


Sidor MM, Warden MR. Optogenetics. In: Price, L.H., Stolerman I. (ed) Encyclopedia of Psychopharmacology. 2015. Berlin: Springer-Verlag.


Sidor MM, Davidson TJ, Tye KM, Warden MR, Deisseroth K, McClung CA. In vivo optogenetic stimulation of the rodent central nervous system. J Vis Exp. 2015 Jan 15;95:e51483.




Warden MR, Cardin JA, Deisseroth K. Optical Neural Interfaces. Annu Rev Biomed Eng. 2014 Jul 11;16:103-129.


Lammel S, Tye KM, Warden MR. Progress in understanding mood disorders: optogenetic dissection of neural circuits. Genes Brain Behav. 2014 Jan;13(1):38-51.




Rigotti M, Barak O, Warden MR, Wang XJ, Daw N, Miller EK, Fusi S. The importance of mixed selectivity in complex cognitive tasks. Nature. 2013 May 30;497(7451):585-590.


Kim SY, Adhikari A, Lee SY, Marshel JH, Kim CK, Mallory CS, Lo M, Pak S, Mattis J, Lim BK, Malenka RC, Warden MR, Neve R, Tye KM, Deisseroth K. Diverging neural pathways assemble a behavioral state from separable features in anxiety. Nature. 2013 Apr 11;496(7444):219-223.


Tye KM*, Mirzabekov JJ*, Warden MR*, Ferenczi EA, Tsai HC, Finkelstein J, Kim SY, Adhikari A, Thompson KR, Andalman AS, Gunaydin LA, Witten IB, Deisseroth K. Dopamine neurons modulate neural encoding and expression of depression-related behaviour. Nature. 2013 Jan 24;493(7433):537-541.

* equal contribution

Discover Magazine. The two faces of depression

Scientific American. The dopamine side(s) of depression




Warden MR, Selimbeyoglu A, Mirzabekov JJ, Lo M, Thompson KR, Kim SY, Adhikari A, Tye KM, Frank LM, Deisseroth K. A prefrontal cortex-brainstem neuronal projection that controls response to behavioural challenge. Nature. 2012 Dec 20/27;492(7429):428-432.

          Current Biology. Motivated Action: New Light on Prefrontal-Neuromodulatory Circuits

          Nature Reviews Neuroscience. A motivating microcircuit

          New Scientist. Ray of light in the right location boosts motivation


Anikeeva P, Andalman AS, Witten I, Warden M, Goshen I, Grosenick L, Gunaydin LA, Frank LM, Deisseroth K. Optetrode: a multichannel readout for optogenetic control in freely moving mice. Nat Neurosci. 2011 Dec 4;15(1):163-70.




Warden MR, Miller EK. Task-dependent changes in short-term memory in the prefrontal cortex. J Neurosci. 2010 Nov 24;30(47):15801-10.




Siegel M, Warden MR, Miller EK. Phase-dependent neuronal coding of objects in short-term memory. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA. 2009 Dec 5;106(50):21341-6.




Warden MR, Miller EK. The representation of multiple objects in prefrontal neuronal delay activity. Cereb Cortex. 2007 Sep;17 Suppl 1:i41-50.



Melissa R. Warden, Ph.D.

Department of Neurobiology and Behavior

Cornell University

Ithaca, NY 14853

mrwarden [at] cornell.edu