BA MSc DPhil
Wellcome Trust Senior Research Fellow
- University Research Lecturer
Neuropsychology and neurochemistry of decision making
My group are interested in the way in which our brains are able to integrate across these multiple different types of information in order to guide appropriate decisions. We particularly focus on how different aspects of value are learned, represented and used to guide choice behaviour within frontal-striatal-dopaminergic circuits.
The long-term goal is to use the information gleaned about the functional of these systems to better understand how the process of valuation and decision making goes awry in neuropsychiatric disorders.
The laboratory uses a range of recording and interference techniques to address these questions, including electrochemistry (fast-scan cyclic voltammetry to measure sub-second dopamine release and amperometry to record tissue oxygen), targeted lesions, neuropharmacological manipulations, and functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). We are particularly interested to use combinations of techniques in order to investigate communication between brain regions and the causal interactions within these networks.
Our behavioural tasks are designed with an eye to ideas in disciplines such as behavioural ecology, animal learning theory and neuroeconomics as well as behavioural and cognitive neuroscience. These allow us to determine how the different influences on our everyday learning and decision making might be represented in the brain.