Dr Miriam Matamales

Dr Miriam Matamales

Senior Research Fellow

2009 : Ph. D. Neuroscience, Pierre and Marie Curie University, Paris, France

2007: Master in Biomedical Research, Pompeu Fabra University, Barcelona, Spain

2006 : Bachelor of Human Bioogy, Pompeu Fabra University, Barcelona, Spain

School of Psychology

Miriam obtained her PhD in Neuroscience from the University Pierre and Marie Curie (Paris) under the direction of Jean-Antoine Girault. She was awarded the EMBO Long-Term Fellowship to join the laboratory of Jürgen Götz at the University of Sydney and the University of Queensland where she studied age-related disorders of the basal ganglia circuitry. She then moved to the University of New South Wales where she established an independent line of research within the Decision Neuroscience Laboratory, for which she was awarded the 2020 Early Career Excellence Award from the Dean of Science (UNSW). Her research combines innovative high-throughput fluorescence microscopy and computational image analysis to understand how the functional architecture of the striatum encodes goal-directed learning and how its dysfunction impairs normal behaviour.  

  • Journal articles | 2024
    Ferguson LA; Matamales M; Nolan C; Balleine BW; Bertran-Gonzalez J, 2024, 'Adaptation of sequential action benefits from timing variability related to lateral basal ganglia circuitry', iScience, 27, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.isci.2024.109274
    Journal articles | 2023
    Bertran-Gonzalez J; Dinale C; Matamales M, 2023, 'Restoring the youthful state of striatal plasticity in aged mice re-enables cognitive control of action', Current Biology, 33, pp. 1997 - 2007.e5, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cub.2023.04.020
    Journal articles | 2021
    Balleine BW; 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, pp. 38 - 44, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cobeha.2021.03.004
    Journal articles | 2021
    Matamales M, 2021, 'How dopamine leads to hallucinations', Science, 372, pp. 33 - 34, http://dx.doi.org/10.1126/science.abh1310
    Journal articles | 2021
    Matamales M, 2021, 'Learning to stop: two types of neurons cooperate to adjust behaviour', TheScienceBreaker, 07, http://dx.doi.org/10.25250/thescbr.brk497
    Journal articles | 2021
    Ztaou S; Oh SJ; Tepler S; Fleury S; Matamales M; Bertran-Gonzalez J; Chuhma N; Rayport S, 2021, 'Single dose of amphetamine induces delayed subregional attenuation of cholinergic interneuron activity in the striatum', eNeuro, 8, http://dx.doi.org/10.1523/ENEURO.0196-21.2021
    Journal articles | 2020
    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, pp. 549 - 555, http://dx.doi.org/10.1126/science.aaz5751
    Journal articles | 2018
    Bradfield LA; Matamales M; Bertran-Gonzalez J, 2018, 'The Thalamostriatal Pathway and the Hierarchical Control of Action', Neuron, 100, pp. 521 - 523, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.neuron.2018.10.041
    Journal articles | 2017
    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, pp. e29908, http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.29908
    Journal articles | 2017
    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, pp. 1462 - 1476, http://dx.doi.org/10.1074/jbc.M116.752402
    Journal articles | 2016
    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, pp. e0157682, http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0157682
    Journal articles | 2016
    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, pp. 362 - 373, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.neuron.2016.03.006
    Journal articles | 2012
    Götz J; Matamales M; Götz NN; Ittner LM; Eckert A, 2012, 'Alzheimer's disease models and functional genomics-How many needles are there in the haystack?', Frontiers in Physiology, 3 AUG, http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fphys.2012.00320
    Journal articles | 2012
    Matamales M, 2012, 'Neuronal activity-regulated gene transcription: How are distant synaptic signals conveyed to the nucleus?', F1000Research, 1, http://dx.doi.org/10.12688/f1000research.1-69.v1
    Journal articles | 2012
    Schonrock N; Matamalesb M; Ittner L; Gotz J, 2012, 'MicroRNA networks surrounding APP and amyloid-beta metabolism - Implications for Alzheimer's disease', Experimental Neurology, 235, pp. 447 - 454, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.expneurol.2011.11.013
    Journal articles | 2011
    Götz J; Eckert A; Matamales M; Ittner LM; Liu X, 2011, 'Modes of Aβ toxicity in Alzheimer's disease', Cellular and Molecular Life Sciences, 68, pp. 3359 - 3375, http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00018-011-0750-2
    Journal articles | 2011
    Götz J; Ittner LM; Matamales M, 2011, 'S.03.03 Novel treatment strategies for Alzheimer's disease', European Neuropsychopharmacology, 21, pp. S187 - S188, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/s0924-977x(11)70243-7
    Journal articles | 2011
    Matamales M; Girault J-A, 2011, 'Signaling from the cytoplasm to the nucleus in striatal medium-sized spiny neurons.', Front Neuroanat, 5, pp. 37, http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fnana.2011.00037
    Journal articles | 2011
    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, 36, pp. 2561 - 2570, http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/npp.2011.144
    Journal articles | 2009
    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, http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0004770
    Journal articles | 2008
    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, 28, pp. 5671 - 5685, http://dx.doi.org/10.1523/JNEUROSCI.1039-08.2008
    Journal articles | 2008
    Hervé D; Matamales M; Stipanovich A; Valjent E; Girault JA, 2008, 'A novel mechanism by which reward and drugs of abuse alter chromatin in neurons', Medecine/Sciences, 24, pp. 1027 - 1029, http://dx.doi.org/10.1051/medsci/200824121027
    Journal articles | 2008
    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, pp. 879 - 884, http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/nature06994
  • Preprints | 2022
    Bertran-Gonzalez J; Dinale C; Matamales M, 2022, Restoring functional D2- to D1-neuron correspondence enables goal-directed action control in long-lived striatal circuits, , http://dx.doi.org/10.1101/2022.09.14.508004
    Preprints | 2022
    Ferguson L; Matamales M; Balleine B; Bertran-Gonzalez J, 2022, Dynamic adaptation of sequential action benefits from cortico-basal ganglia-related temporal variability, , http://dx.doi.org/10.1101/2022.03.28.486040
    Preprints | 2021
    Ztaou S; Oh SJ; 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, , http://dx.doi.org/10.1101/2021.03.22.436417
    Preprints | 2019
    Matamales M; McGovern A; Mi JD; Mazzone S; Balleine B; Bertran-Gonzalez J, 2019, D1 and D2 systems converge in the striatum to update goal-directed learning, , http://dx.doi.org/10.1101/780346
    Conference Papers | 2011
    Goetz J; Ittner LM; Matamales M, 2011, 'Novel treatment strategies for Alzheimer's disease', in EUROPEAN NEUROPSYCHOPHARMACOLOGY, ELSEVIER, FRANCE, Paris, pp. S187 - S188, presented at 24th Congress of the European-College-of-Neuropsychopharmacology, FRANCE, Paris, 03 September 2011 - 07 September 2011, https://www.webofscience.com/api/gateway?GWVersion=2&SrcApp=PARTNER_APP&SrcAuth=LinksAMR&KeyUT=WOS:000297383600012&DestLinkType=FullRecord&DestApp=ALL_WOS&UsrCustomerID=891bb5ab6ba270e68a29b250adbe88d1

2021-2023 : ARC Discovery Project (Lead Invesigator) [DP210102700: $378,205]

2019-2021 : ARC Discovery Project (CI2) [DP190102511: $464,678]

2019-2021 : NHMRC New Investigator Project Grant (CIB) [APP1165990: $397,754.12]

2012 : Alzheimer's Australia Dementia Research Foundation (sole CI) [$50,000]

2011-2012 : Long-Term Postdoctoral Fellowship European Molecular Biology Organization (EMBO) [$150,000]

2020 : UNSW Dean of Science Early Career Excellence Award

2019 : UNSW's Vice-Chancellor's Childcare Support Fund for Women Researchers

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

Miriam co-leads, in partnership with Dr. Jay Bertran-Gonzalez, the group Neuromodulatory Systems and Behaviour (https://www.neuromodulab.org/) within the Decision Neuroscience Laboratory (https://www.decisioneurolab.com/).

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 circuits when they are generated, matured and adapted upon changes in environmental rules. We focus our studies on neuromodulatory systems (e.g. dopamine, acetylcholine, neuropeptides) supporting plasticity in subcortical brain networks (striatum, basal ganglia pathways), a central process for generating and modifying voluntary behaviours. We capitalise on animal learning theory, allowing us to design accurate behavioural paradigms that expose very specific forms of learning, and we deploy a series of quantitative fluorescence techniques as well as in vivo approaches to explore neuronal correspondence. Using mice as experimental model, the approach taken includes instrumental conditioning, AAV-based circuit- and cell-specific tracing and manipulation in behaving animals, in vivo photometry and computational analysis of behavioural and neuronal data. We are also interested in studying how these systems fail by modelling certain pathologies in mice such as age-associated motivational decline and behavioural control disorders.

My Teaching

- Lecturer of the UNSW NEUR2201 Neuroscience Fundamentals course (Year 2 course, convenor: Andrew
Moorhouse). In this course, I teach about the fundamentals of subcortical circuit anatomy and the basics of
dopamine modulation in striatal neurons.

- Invited Faculty at the 2021 Australasian Course in Advance Neuroscience (System Neurosciences).