The ability to encode the outcomes associated with each action and the relative value assigned to each outcome can influence our decision between distinct goal-directed actions. This ability allows us to secure resources that meet our basic needs and can be considered adaptive behaviour. However, some actions that we perform are maladaptive (e.g. excessive consumption of food). To understand why and how choices are made between actions it is essential to first understand the neural mechanisms which underlie the associative processes influencing decision-making. My research is focused on clarifying the specific neural mechanisms involved in processing and encoding the influence of environmental cues on action selection. I am specifically investigating the role of delta-opioid receptors in the nucleus accumbens shell on the specific Pavlovian-instrumental transfer paradigm. My current research involves combining targeted manipulations of brain regions, using tools such as viral-based optogenetics, with functional behavioural paradigms, and quantification of neural correlates using immunofluorescence and RNAscope protocols.