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Pamela Reinagel


The Reinagel lab studies perceptually guided selection of action in the visually behaving rat. Our primary experimental tool is quantitative visual behavior. Much of our effort is focused on building computational models to explain reward-motivated choice behavior in the face of sensory uncertainty. Lesions and pharmacology are used to probe neural mechanisms.

One current focus is the speed-accuracy trade-off of rats as they perform different types of visual discriminations. A second focus is blindsight: identifying which visual behaviors are dependent on primary visual cortex in the rat, and characterizing visual decision-making and learning in V1-independent visual behaviors.

Select Publications

  • Shevinsky, C.A. and Reinagel, P. (2019)The interaction between elapsed time and decision accuracy differs between humans and rats. Front. Neurosci. 13:1211.
  • Reinagel, P. (2018)Training rats using water rewards without water restriction. Front. Behav. Neurosci., 03 May 2018.
  • Reinagel, P (2013) Speed and Accuracy of Visual Motion Discrimination by Rats. PLoS-ONE 8(6):e68505.
  • Petruno, S, Clark, RE, and Reinagel, P (2013) Evidence that primary visual cortex is required for image orientation and motion discrimination by rats. PLoS-ONE.0056543
  • Clark, RE, Reinagel P, Broadbent NJ, Flister ED, and Squire, LR (2011) Intact performance on feature ambiguous discriminations in rats with lesions of the perirhinal cortex. Neuron 70(1):132-140.
  • Meier*, PM, Flister*, ED, and Reinagel P (2011) Collinear features impair visual detection by rats. Journal of Vision 11(3)22.


Pam Reinagel received her Ph.D. in Biochemistry at Harvard University. She conducted postdoctoral research in theoretical neuroscience with Christof Koch at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech), and in experimental neuroscience with R. Clay Reid at Harvard Medical School. Dr. Reinagel is the recipient of a Sloan Research Fellowship. She started her lab at UCSD in 2003.

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