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Dr. Patrick Anselme

...Ruhr-University Bochum
Fakultät für Psychologie
AE Biopsychologie
D-44780 Bochum, Germany

Room: IB 6-139
Phone: +49 234 32 24917
Fax: +49 234 32 14377


Curriculum Vitae

Since 2015 Temporary PI at the Ruhr-University of Bochum (lab of Prof. Onur Güntürkün)
2011 (full year) Post-doctoral fellow at the University of Michigan (lab of Prof. Kent C. Berridge)
2007 – 2010 Clinical research in neuropsychology at the Come-Back center (Eupen, Belgium)
2003 – 2007 PhD in Psychology (University of Liège, lab of Prof. Ezio Tirelli)
1998 – 1999 Pre-doctoral specialisation in cognitive sciences (Free University of Brussels)
1993 – 1998 Master in Psychology (University of Liège, lab of Prof. Robert M. French)



  • Motivation & reward
  • Dopamine’s role
  • Gambling-like behaviour
  • Decision making under uncertainty
  • Optimal foraging

research projects

I am interested in the motivational mechanisms that optimize the ability of animals to find reward sources (especially food) in an unpredictable environment.

publication list


  • Singer, B.F., Anselme, P., Robinson, M.J.F., Vezina, P. (eds.) (2014). Neuronal and psychological underpinnings of pathological gambling. Lausanne: Frontiers Media S.A. (Research Topic for Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience).

Peer-reviewed articles and book chapters

  • Wittek, N., Oeksuez, F., Güntürkün, O., & Anselme, P. (in press). More opportunities to peck for identical food availability increases foraging efficiency in pigeons. Behaviour.
  • Luo, Y., Wang, L., Yang, L., Li, X.-F., Anselme, P. , Wang, X., Tian, X., & Li, Z. (in press). Using a behaviour random permutation model to identify displacement grooming in ungulates. Current Zoology.
  • Robinson, M.J.F., Zumbusch, A.S., Anselme, P. (in press). The incentive sensitization theory of addiction. Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Psychology.
  • Strand, P.S., Robinson, M.J.F., Fiedler, K.R., Learn, R. & Anselme, P. (2022). Quantifying the instrumental and non-instrumental underpinnings of Pavlovian responding with the Price equation. Psychonomic Bulletin and Review, 29, 1295-1306.
  • Anselme, P., Wittek, N., Oeksuez, F., Güntürkün, O. (2022). Overmatching under food uncertainty in foraging pigeons. Behavioural Processes, 201, 104728.
  • Anselme, P. (2022). Motivation incitatrice : Un aperçu historique des enjeux théoriques. L’Année Psychologique, 122, 339-366. doi: 10.3917/anpsy1.222.0339.
  • Anselme, P. (2022). Reward uncertainty and the aversion-attraction dilemma. In: A.J. Elliot (Ed.), Advances in Motivation Science (vol. 9, pp. 1-34). New York: Academic Press (Elsevier).
  • Anselme, P. (2022). The optimality of “suboptimal” choice: A psycho-evolutionary perspective. In: M. Krause, K.L. Hollis, M.R. Papini (Eds.), Evolution of Learning and Memory Mechanisms (chapter 11, pp. 193-209). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  • Anselme, P. (2021). Effort-motivated behavior resolves paradoxes in appetitive conditioning. Behavioural Processes, 193, 104525.
  • Wittek, N., Matsui, H., Kessel, N., Oeksuez, F., Güntürkün, O., & Anselme, P. (2021). Mirror self-recognition in pigeons: Beyond the pass-or-fail criterion. Frontiers in Psychology, 12, 669039.
  • Wittek, N., Wittek, K., Güntürkün, O. & Anselme, P. (2021). Decreased key pecking in response to reward uncertainty and surprising delay extension in pigeons. International Journal of Comparative Psychology, 34, 1-17.
  • Fuentes-Verdugo, E., Pellón, R., Papini, M.R., Torres, C. & Anselme, P. (2021). Partial reinforcement in rat autoshaping with a long CS: Effects of pramipexole and chlordiazepoxide on sign and goal tracking. Psicológica, 42, 85-108.
  • Fuentes-Verdugo, E., Pellón, R., Papini, M.R., Torres, C., Fernández-Teruel, A. & Anselme, P. (2020). Effects of partial reinforcement on autoshaping in inbred Roman high- and low-avoidance rats. Physiology and Behavior, 225, 113111.
  • Singer, B.F., Anselme, P., Robinson, M.J.F., & Vezina, P. (2020). An overview of commonalities in the mechanisms underlying gambling and substance use disorders. Progress in Neuropsychopharmacology and Biological Psychiatry, 101, 109944.
  • Anselme, P. & Robinson, M.J.F. (2020). From sign-tracking to attentional biases: Implications for gambling and substance use disorders. Progress in Neuropsychopharmacology and Biological Psychiatry, 99, 109861.
  • Anselme, P. & Robinson, M.J.F. (2019). Evidence for motivational enhancement of sign-tracking behavior under reward uncertainty. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Animal Learning and Cognition, 45, 350-355.Anselme, P. (2019). Do religious practices and foraging behavior have a common motivational basis? Evolutionary Psychological Science, 5, 231-242.
  • Robinson, M.J.F. & Anselme, P. (2019). Reward uncertainty sensitizes dopamine neurons and invigorates amphetamine-related behaviors. Neuropsychopharmacology, 44, 237-238.
  • Anselme, P. & Güntürkün, O. (2019). Incentive hope: a default psychological response to multiple forms of uncertainty. Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 42, e35, 40-59. [Response to open-peer commentaries]
  • Anselme, P. & Güntürkün, O. (2019). How foraging works: uncertainty magnifies food-seeking motivation. Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 42, e35, 1-15. [Target Article]
  • Anselme, P. & Robinson, M.J.F. (2019). Incentive motivation: the missing piece between learning and behavior. In: K.A. Renninger and S. Hidi (eds.), Cambridge Handbook of Motivation and Learning (Chapter 7, pp. 163-182). Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.
  • Anselme, P., Dreher, T. & Güntürkün, O. (2018). Pigeons consistently prefer easy over harder access to food: no reversal after direct dopaminergic stimulation. Behavioral Neuroscience, 132, 293-301.
  • Anselme, P. (2018). Gambling hijacks an ancestral motivational system shaped by natural selection. In: A. Tomie and J. Morrow (eds.), Sign-tracking and Drug Addiction (Chapter 5). Michigan, MI: University of Michigan Press. (Online:
  • Anselme, P. (2018). Uncertainty processing in bees exposed to free choices: lessons from vertebrates. Psychonomic Bulletin and Review, 25, 2024-2036.
  • Anselme, P. (2018). Rotational stress influences sensitized, but not habituated, exploratory behaviors in the woodlouse, Porcellio scaber. Learning and Behavior, 46, 294-305.
  • Anselme, P., Otto, T. & Güntürkün, O. (2018). Foraging motivation favors the occurrence of Lévy walks. Behavioural Processes, 147, 48-60.
  • Anselme, P., Edeş, N., Tabrik, S. & Güntürkün, O. (2018). Long-term behavioral sensitization to apomorphine is independent of conditioning and increases conditioned pecking, but not preference, in pigeons. Behavioural Brain Research, 336, 122-134.
  • Anselme, P., Otto, T. & Güntürkün, O. (2017). How unpredictable access to food increases the body fat of small passerines: a mechanistic approach. Behavioural Processes, 144, 33-45.
  • Anselme, P. (2017). Reward uncertainty and the dorsomedial striatum: Comment on Torres et al. (2016). Neuroscience, 357, 411-412.
  • Anselme, P. (2016). Motivational control of sign-tracking behaviour: a theoretical framework. Neuroscience and Biobehavioral Reviews, 65, 1-20.
  • Anselme, P. & Robinson, M.J.F. (2016). ‘Wanting’, ‘liking’, and their relation to consciousness. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Animal Learning and Cognition, 42(2), 123-140.
  • Robinson, M.J.F., Anselme, P., Suchomel, K., & Berridge, K.C. (2015). Amphetamine-induced sensitization and reward uncertainty similarly enhance incentive salience for conditioned cues. Behavioral Neuroscience, 129(4), 502-511.
  • Anselme, P. (2015). Enhanced exploratory activity in woodlice exposed to random visuo-tactile patterns. Learning and Motivation, 50, 48-58.
  • Anselme, P. (2015). Does reward unpredictability reflect risk? Behavioural Brain Research, 280, 119-127.
  • Anselme, P. (2015). Incentive salience attribution under reward uncertainty: a Pavlovian model. Behavioural Processes, 111, 6-18.
  • Singer, B.F., Anselme, P., Robinson, M.J.F., Vezina, P. (2014). Neuronal and psychological underpinnings of pathological gambling. Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience, 8, 5-6.
  • Robinson, M.J.F., Anselme, P., Fischer, A.M. & Berridge, K.C. (2014). Initial uncertainty in Pavlovian reward prediction persistently elevates incentive salience and extends sign-tracking to normally unattractive cues. Behavioural Brain Research, 266, 119-130.
  • Anselme, P. & Robinson, M.J.F. (2013). What motivates gambling behavior? Insight into dopamine’s role. Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience, 7, 52-55.
  • Anselme, P. (2013). Dopamine, motivation, and the evolutionary significance of gambling-like behaviour. Behavioural Brain Research, 256(1): 1-4.
  • Anselme, P. (2013). Preference for rich, random tactile stimulation in woodlice (Porcellio scaber). Learning and Motivation, 44(4), 326-336.
  • Anselme, P., Poncelet, M., Bouwens, S., Knips, S., Lekeu, F., Olivier, C., Quittre, A., van Heugten, C., Warginaire, S., Wojtasik, V., Verhey, F., Salmon, E. & Majerus, S. (2013). Profinteg: a tool for real-life assessment of activities of daily living in patients with cognitive impairment. Psychologica Belgica, 53(1): 3-22.
  • Anselme, P. (2013). Sensitivity to tactile novelty in the terrestrial isopod, Porcellio scaber. Behavioural Processes, 92(1): 52-59.
  • Anselme, P., Robinson, M.J.F. & Berridge, K.C. (2013). Reward uncertainty enhances incentive salience attribution as sign-tracking. Behavioural Brain Research, 238(1): 53-61.
  • Anselme, P. (2012). Modularity of mind and the role of incentive motivation in representing novelty. Animal Cognition, 15(4): 443-459.
  • Anselme, P. & Tirelli, E. (2012). Spécificité et propriétés interactives des motivations incitatrices : le rôle de la cognition. Psychologie Française, 57(3): 175-191.
  • Anselme, P. (2012). Loss in risk-taking: absence of optimal gain or reduction in one’s own resources? Behavioural Brain Research, 229(2): 443-446.
  • Anselme, P. (2010). The uncertainty processing theory of motivation. Behavioural Brain Research, 208(2): 291-310.
  • Anselme, P. (2009). The effect of exposure to drugs on the processing of natural rewards. Neuroscience and Biobehavioral Reviews, 33(3): 314-335.
  • Anselme, P. (2008). Abnormal patterns of displacement activities: a review and reinterpretation. Behavioural Processes, 79(1): 48-58.
  • Anselme, P., Bernaerts, P. & Poncin, P. (2008). Daily activity rhythms of the African catfish Heterobranchus longifilis (Clariidae) in an experimental enclosure. Aquatic Living Resources, 21(4): 419-422.
  • Anselme, P. (2007). Some conceptual problems with the classical theory of behaviour. Behavioural Processes, 75(3): 259-275.
  • Anselme, P. (2006). Opportunistic behaviour in animals and robots. Journal of Experimental and Theoretical Artificial Intelligence, 18(1): 1-15.
  • Anselme, P. (2003). The frame problem in cognitive modeling. Cognitive Science Quarterly, 3(3): 329-350.
  • Thibaut, J.-P., Dupont, M. & Anselme, P. (2002). Dissociations between categorization and similarity judgements as a result of learning feature distributions. Memory & Cognition, 30(4): 647-656.
  • French, R.M. & Anselme, P. (1999). Interactively converging on context-sensitive representations: a solution to the frame problem. Revue Internationale de Philosophie, 209(3): 365-385.




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