Millie Rincón-Cortés

Millie Rincón-Cortés

Assistant Professor

Research Interests: Normative and stress-induced plasticity of reward and mesolimbic dopamine function, emphasis on early development and the postpartum period

Tags: behavior depression electrophysiology neuroscience stress Neuroscience-Faculty

Professional Preparation

Postdoc (Grace Lab) - Dopamine neurophysiology
University of Pittsburgh - 2020
PhD - Neuroscience and Physiology
New York University Medical Center - 2015
BS - Biology
University of Puerto Rico- Mayaguez (RUM) - 2009

Research Areas

Animal models of psychiatric disorders
Social Behavior
Maternal mental illness


Behavioral responses to natural rewards in developing male and female rats 2024 - Journal Article
Sex differences in addiction-relevant behavioral outcomes in rodents following early life stress 2023 - Journal Article
Adult stress exposure blunts dopamine system hyperresponsivity in a neurodevelopmental rodent model of schizophrenia 2022 - Journal Article
Postpartum scarcity-adversity disrupts maternal behavior and induces a hypodopaminergic state in the rat dam and adult female offspring 2022 - Journal Article
Dopamine downregulation in novel rodent models useful for the study of postpartum depression 2022 - Journal Article
Bidirectional control of infant rat social behavior via dopaminergic innervation of the basolateral amygdala 2021 - Journal Article
Adaptations in reward-related behaviors and mesolimbic dopamine function during motherhood and the postpartum period. 2020 - Journal Article
Enhancing Executive Functions Through Social Interactions: Causal Evidence Using a Cross-Species Model. 2019 - Journal Article


Early Career Achievement Award - International Behavioral Neuroscience Society (IBNS) [2020]
Rafaelsen Young Investigator Award - International College of Neuropsychopharmacology (CINP) [2020]
Postdoctoral Fellow - Ford Foundation [2020]
NRSA F32 Postdoctoral Fellow - National Institute for Mental Health (NIMH) [2016]
Dissertation Award - International Society for Developmental Psychobiology (ISDP) [2015]
Sackler Dissertation Prize - New York University School of Medicine [2015]
Graduate Research Fellow - National Science Foundation (NSF) [2011]


Assistant Professor
Department of Neuroscience, School of Behavioral Brain Sciences at UTD [2022–Present]


Normative and adversity-induced changes in reward-related and mesolimbic dopamine function
How does becoming a mother change reward-related brain function? How do these normative changes interact with postpartum adversity?
Dopaminergic mechanisms underlying intergenerational transmission of maternal behavior
How do early life experiences with a caregiver program later life maternal behavior?
Ontogeny of reward-related brain and behavioral responses: modulation by sex and stress
How does developmental stress exposure alter brain development and reward-related responses?


R03: Impact of early life adversity on caregiving behaviors and reward-related brain function: testing a mechanistic role for corticosterone
- NICHD [2023/04–2025/03]
K01: Environmental modulation of maternal behavior and mesolimbic DA function
- NIMH [2022/05–2026/04]
Ford Foundation Postdoctoral Fellowship
- National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine [2020/06–2021/06]
F32 Postdoctoral Fellowship
- National Institute of Mental Health [2016/09–2018/06]
T32 Postdoctoral Fellowship
- National Institute for Mental Health [2015/06–2016/08]