Loyola University Chicago


Department of Psychology

Stephan Steidl

Title: Assistant Professor, Ph.D.

Office: 236 Coffey Hall

Phone: 773.508.2971

E-mail: ssteidl@luc.edu

Personal Information

Ph.D., University of Toronto
M.A., University of British Columbia


Behavioral Neuroscience


Research Interests:

My research is generally concerned with understanding brain systems that contribute to appetitively motivated behaviors. It is well established that the dopamine system is important in motivation and reward, but much remains to be learned about how the dopamine system is activated. Most rewards, including several drugs of abuse, activate the dopamine system indirectly.  Environmental stimuli, which through experience predict the availability of rewards, also come to activate the dopamine system, and almost certainly do so indirectly. Thus, understanding the source, type, and nature of afferent inputs to the dopamine system is critical. My interests have been particularly focused on the pedunculopontine tegmental nucleus (PPTg) and the laterodorsal tegmental nucleus (LDTg), two closely related brainstem nuclei that excite the dopamine system through both cholinergic and glutamatergic inputs. My laboratory uses a combination of experimental approaches (in-vivo pharmacology, cell-specific lesions techniques, and optogenetics) to understand the role of PPTg and LDTg cholinergic and glutamatergic inputs to the dopamine system in rat and mouse reward-seeking and reward-taking behaviors.



Statistics (Psych 304)
Neuroscience Seminar (NEUR 300)


Recent Publications:

Steidl, S., Miller, A.D., Blaha, C.D., and Yeomans, J.S. (2011). M5 muscarinic receptors mediate striatal dopamine activation by ventraltegmental morphine or pedunculopontine stimulation in mice. PLoS One, 6 (11): e27538.

Steidl, S., Razik F., and Anderson A.K. (2011). Emotion enhanced retention of cognitive skill learning. Emotion,11(1): 12-19.

Steidl, S., and Yeomans, J.S. (2009). M5 muscarinic receptor knockout mice show reduced morphine-induced locomotion but increased locomotion after cholinergic antagonism in the ventral tegmental area. Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics, 328(1): 263-275.

Steidl, S., Mohi-uddin, S., and Anderson, A.K. (2006). Effects of emotional arousal on multiple memory systems: evidence from declarative and procedural learning. Learning and Memory, 13(5): 650-8.

Yeomans, J.S., Lee, J., Yeomans, M.H., Steidl, S., & Li, L. (2006). Midbrain pathways for prepulse inhibition and startle activation in rat. Neuroscience, 142(4): 921-9.

Steidl, S., Faerman, P., Li, L., and Yeomans, J.S. (2004). Kynurenate in the pontine reticular formation inhibits acoustic and trigeminal nucleus-evoked startle, but not vestibular nucleus-evoked startle. Neuroscience, 126(1): 127-36.

Steidl, S. and Rankin, C. H. (2003). C. elegans as a model system for learning and memory.  In Byrne, J.H., ed., Learning and Memory, Second edition, New York, J.H. Macmillan Publishing Company, 2003.

Steidl, S., Rose, J.K., & Rankin, C.H. (2002). Stages of memory in the nematode Caenorhabditis elegansBehavioral and Cognitive Neuroscience Reviews, 2(1): 3-14.

Li, L., Steidl, S., and Yeomans, J.S. (2001).  Contributions of the vestibular nucleus and vestibulospinal tract to the startle reflex. Neuroscience, 106(4):811-21.

Steidl, S., Li, L., and Yeomans, J.S. (2001). Conditioned brain-stimulation reward attenuates the acoustic startle reflex in rats.  Behavioral Neuroscience, 115(3): 710-17.