Miriam Matamales

Post-Doctoral Research Associate


  • PhD in Neuroscience, Pierre and Marie Curie University, France, 2009

  • Master in Biomedical Research, Pompeu Fabra University, Spain, 2007   

  • Bachelor of Human Biology, Pompeu Fabra University, Spain, 2006

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Research interests

I am a neuroscientist and my research interests focus on the neural mechanisms by which subcortical brain circuits encode goal-directed learning. By implementing innovative high-throughput fluorescence microscopy and computational image analysis, I have made several important contributions to the understanding of the functional architecture of the mouse striatum. Besides my work on the most fundamental aspects of striatal functional neuroanatomy, I also investigate how normal ageing negatively impacts specific aspects of learning and motivation in mice.


2021-2023: ARC Discovery Project, CIA    


2019-2021: ARC Discovery Project, CIB     


2019-2021: NHMRC Project Grant, CIB

2017: Australasian Neuroscience Society Paxinos-Watson Award to the most significant paper published by a Society member in 2016

2012: Alzheimer’s Australia Dementia Research Foundation (sole CI)

2011-2012: Long-Term Postdoctoral Fellowship European Molecular Biology Organization (EMBO)         


  • Matamales, M. (2021). How dopamine leads to hallucinations. Science, 372(6537), 33-34. 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.

  • 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. 367 (6477):549–555. Read More. 

  • Bradfield LA, Matamales M, Bertran-Gonzalez J (2018) The thalamostriatal pathway and the hierarchical control of action. Neuron 100 (3), 521-523. 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 6, e29908. Read More.

  • Nishi A, Matamales M, Musante V, Valjent E, Kuroiwa M, Kitahara Y, Rebholz H, Greengard P, Girault JA, Nairn AC (2017) Glutamate counteracts dopamine/PKA signaling via dephosphorylation of DARPP-32 Ser-97 and alteration of its cytonuclear distribution. Journal of Biological Chemistry 292 (4), 1462-1476. 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 11 (6), e0157682. 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 90 (2), 362-373. Read More.

  • Matamales M (2012) Neuronal activity-regulated gene transcription: how are distant synaptic signals conveyed to the nucleus? F1000Research 1: 69. Read More.

  • Matamales M, Girault JA (2011) Signaling from the cytoplasm to the nucleus in striatal medium-sized spiny neurons. Frontiers in neuroanatomy 5. 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 4 (3), e4770. 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 453 (7197), 879-884. Read More.


Decision Neuroscience Laboratory

The University of New South Wales

School of Psychology

Sydney, NSW 2052



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