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Jay Bertran-Gonzalez

ARC Future Fellow
Senior Lecturer
Head Neuromodulatory Group


  • PhD in Neuroscience, University Pierre et Marie Curie, France (2010)

  • Masters in Biomedical Research, INSERM, France (2007)

  • Bachelor of Biology, Pompeu Fabra University, Barcelona (2006)

  • Google Scholar
  • Orcid_Logo

Research interests

Our team has a broad interest in Systems Neuroscience: we are particularly interested in studying how learning is encoded brain circuits, and how new behaviours that did not exist before imprint in neuronal networks and become established repertoires. We focus our studies on the neuromodulatory processes controlling the subcortical brain networks underlying voluntary behaviours, such as the striatum and the basal ganglia. Using rodents, we capitalise on fundamental animal learning theory for the design of behavioural settings that optimally expose specific forms of learning, and we use combinations of microscopy and genetic technology to explore neural system function. We are also interested in studying how these neural systems decline with age, and how this decline precipitates certain age-associated pathology such as apathy, Parkinson’s disease and related cognitive dysfunction.​


2021: ARC Discovery Project, CIB  


2021: Future Fellowship (Australian Research Council)  


2019: Discovery Project (Australian Research Council), CIA

2019: Promoting High Quality Research Papers Scheme (UNSW)

2019: New Investigator Project Grant (NHMRC) CIA

2018: Goldstar Award (UNSW)

2017: Paxinos-Watson Award (Australasian Neuroscience Society 2016)

2017: Scientific Mobility Program (Australian Academy of Science and Embassy of France)

2016: Discovery Early Career Research Award (Australian Research Council)

2016: UNSW Research Infrastructure Scheme (co-investigator)

2013: Scientific Mobility Program (Australian Academy of Science and Embassy of France)

2008: Prix Forum FENS 2008 (Societé des Neurosciences, France)


  • Ferguson, L. A., Matamales, M., Nolan, C., Balleine, B. W., & Bertran-Gonzalez, J. (2024). Adaptation of sequential action benefits from timing variability related to lateral basal ganglia circuitry. iScience. Read More.

  • Balleine, B. W., Peak, J., Matamales, M., Bertran-Gonzalez, J., & Hart, G. (2021). The dorsomedial striatum: an optimal cellular environment for encoding and updating goal-directed learning. Current Opinion in Behavioral Sciences, 41, 38-44. Read More.

  • Ztaou, S., Oh, S. J., Tepler, S., Fleury, S., Matamales, M., Bertran-Gonzalez, J., Chuhma, N. & Rayport, S. (2021). Single dose of amphetamine induces delayed subregional attenuation of striatal cholinergic interneuron activity. bioRxiv. Read More.

  • Balleine, B. W., Peak, J., Matamales, M., Bertran-Gonzalez, J., & Hart, G. (2021). The dorsomedial striatum: an optimal cellular environment for encoding and updating goal-directed learning. Current Opinion in Behavioral Sciences, 41, 38-44. Read More.

  • Fisher, SD, Ferguson, LA, Bertran-Gonzalez, J & Balleine, BW (2020). Amygdala-cortical control of striatal plasticity drives the acquisition of goal-directed action. Current Biology. Read More.

  • Morse AK; Leung BK; Heath E; Bertran-Gonzalez J; Pepin E; Chieng BC; Balleine BW; Laurent V, 2020, Basolateral Amygdala Drives a GPCR-Mediated Striatal Memory Necessary for Predictive Learning to Influence Choice, Neuron, vol. 106, pp. 855 - 869.e8. Read More.

  • Matamales M; McGovern AE; Mi JD; Mazzone SB; Balleine BW; Bertran-Gonzalez J, 2020, Local D2- To D1-neuron transmodulation updates goal-directed learning in the striatum, Science, vol. 367, pp. 549 - 555. Read More. 

  • Cummins N; Tweedie A; Zuryn S; Bertran-Gonzalez J; Götz J, 2019, Disease-associated tau impairs mitophagy by inhibiting Parkin translocation to mitochondria, EMBO Journal, vol. 38. Read More. 

  • Bradfield LA; Matamales M; Bertran-Gonzalez J, 2018, The Thalamostriatal Pathway and the Hierarchical Control of Action, Neuron, vol. 100, pp. 521 - 523. Read More. 

  • Doly S; Quentin E; Eddine R; Tolu S; Fernandez SP; Bertran-Gonzalez J; Valjent E; Belmer A; Viñals X; Callebert J; Faure P; Meye FJ; Hervé D; Robledo P; Mameli M; Launay JM; Maldonado R; Maroteaux L, 2017, Serotonin 2B receptors in mesoaccumbens dopamine pathway regulate cocaine responses, Journal of Neuroscience, vol. 37, pp. 10372 - 10388. Read More. 

  • Matamales M; Skrbis Z; Bailey MR; Balsam PD; Balleine BW; Götz J; Bertran-Gonzalez J, 2017, A corticostriatal deficit promotes temporal distortion of automatic action in ageing, eLife, vol. 6. Read More. 

  • Matamales M; Götz J; Bertran-Gonzalez J, 2016, Quantitative imaging of cholinergic interneurons reveals a distinctive spatial organization and a functional gradient across the mouse striatum, PLoS ONE, vol. 11. Read More. 

  • Matamales M; Skrbis Z; Hatch RJ; Balleine BW; Götz J; Bertran-Gonzalez J, 2016, Aging-Related Dysfunction of Striatal Cholinergic Interneurons Produces Conflict in Action Selection, Neuron, vol. 90, pp. 362 - 373. Read More. 

  • Laurent V; Bertran-Gonzalez J; Chieng BC; Balleine BW, 2014, δ-Opioid and dopaminergic processes in accumbens shell modulate the cholinergic control of predictive learning and choice, Journal of Neuroscience, vol. 34, pp. 1358 - 1369. Read More. 

  • Bertran-Gonzalez J; Laurent V; Chieng BC; Christie MJ; Balleine BW, 2013, Learning-related translocation of δ-Opioid receptors on ventral striatal cholinergic interneurons mediates choice between goal-directed actions, Journal of Neuroscience, vol. 33, pp. 16060 - 16071. Read More. 

  • Bradfield LA; Bertran-Gonzalez J; Chieng B; Balleine BW, 2013, The Thalamostriatal Pathway and Cholinergic Control of Goal-Directed Action: Interlacing New with Existing Learning in the Striatum, Neuron, vol. 79, pp. 153 - 166. Read More. 

  • Bonito-Oliva A; Pallottino S; Bertran-Gonzalez J; Girault JA; Valjent E; Fisone G, 2013, Haloperidol promotes mTORC1-dependent phosphorylation of ribosomal protein S6 via dopamine- and cAMP-regulated phosphoprotein of 32 kDa and inhibition of protein phosphatase-1, Neuropharmacology, vol. 72, pp. 197 - 203. Read More. 

  • Bertran-Gonzalez J; Chieng BC; Laurent V; Valjent E; Balleine BW, 2012, Striatal Cholinergic Interneurons Display Activity-Related Phosphorylation of Ribosomal Protein S6, PLoS ONE, vol. 7. Read More. 

  • Enoksson T; Bertran-Gonzalez J; Christie MJ, 2012, Nucleus accumbens D2- and D1-receptor expressing medium spiny neurons are selectively activated by morphine withdrawal and acute morphine, respectively, Neuropharmacology, vol. 62, pp. 2463 - 2471. Read More. 

  • Valjent E; Bertran-Gonzalez J; Bowling H; Lopez S; Santini E; Matamales M; Bonito-Oliva A; Hervé D; Hoeffer C; Klann E; Girault JA; Fisone G, 2011, Haloperidol regulates the state of phosphorylation of ribosomal protein S6 via activation of PKA and phosphorylation of DARPP-32, Neuropsychopharmacology, vol. 36, pp. 2561 - 2570. Read More. 

  • Bertran-Gonzalez J; Napier IA, 2011, Toward a model of retrograde regulation of striatal synaptic depression, Journal of Neuroscience, vol. 31, pp. 6944 - 6946. Read More. 

  • Bertran-Gonzalez J; Hervé D; Girault JA; Valjent E, 2010, What is the degree of segregation between striatonigral and striatopallidal projections?, Frontiers in Neuroanatomy. Read More. 

  • Valjent E; Bertran-Gonzalez J; Aubier B; Greengard P; Hervé D; Girault JA, 2010, Mechanisms of locomotor sensitization to drugs of abuse in a two-injection protocol, Neuropsychopharmacology, vol. 35, pp. 401 - 415. Read More. 

  • Doly S; Bertran-Gonzalez J; Callebert J; Bruneau A; Banas SM; Belmer A; Boutourlinsky K; Hervé D; Launay JM; Maroteaux L, 2009, Role of serotonin via 5-HT2B receptors in the reinforcing effects of MDMA in mice, PLoS ONE, vol. 4. Read More. 

  • Valjent E; Bertran-Gonzalez J; Hervé D; Fisone G; Girault JA, 2009, Looking BAC at striatal signaling: cell-specific analysis in new transgenic mice, Trends in Neurosciences, vol. 32, pp. 538 - 547. Read More. 

  • Bertran-Gonzalez J; Håkansson K; Borgkvist A; Irinopoulou T; Brami-Cherrier K; Usiello A; Greengard P; Hervé D; Girault JA; Valjent E; Fisone G, 2009, Histone H3 phosphorylation is under the opposite tonic control of dopamine D2 and adenosine A2A receptors in striatopallidal neurons, Neuropsychopharmacology, vol. 34, pp. 1710 - 1720. Read More. 

  • Matamales M; Bertran-Gonzalez J; Salomon L; Degos B; Deniau JM; Valjent E; Hervé D; Girault JA, 2009, Striatal medium-sized spiny neurons: Identification by nuclear staining and study of neuronal subpopulations in BAC transgenic mice, PLoS ONE, vol. 4. Read More. 

  • Stipanovich A; Valjent E; Matamales M; Nishi A; Ahn JH; Maroteaux M; Bertran-Gonzalez J; Brami-Cherrier K; Enslen H; Corbillé AG; Filhol O; Nairn AC; Greengard P; Hervé D; Girault JA, 2008, A phosphatase cascade by which rewarding stimuli control nucleosomal response, Nature, vol. 453, pp. 879 - 884. Read More. 

  • Bertran-Gonzalez J; Bosch C; Maroteaux M; Matamales M; Hervé D; Valjent E; Girault JA, 2008, Opposing patterns of signaling activation in dopamine D1 and D2 receptor-expressing striatal neurons in response to cocaine and haloperidol, Journal of Neuroscience, vol. 28, pp. 5671 - 5685. Read More. 

  • Valjent E; Corbillé AG; Bertran-Gonsalez J; Hervé D; Girault JA, 2006, Inhibition of ERK pathway or protein synthesis during reexposure to drugs of abuse erases previously learned place preference, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, vol. 103, pp. 2932 - 2937. Read More.

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