Brain and Behaviour

This research covers overlapping areas of basic cognitive and behavioural processes as well as the neuroanatomical and neurochemcial processes underlying them.

The research interests of this Group cover a range of overlapping areas of basic cognitive and behavioural processes as well as the neuroanatomical and neurochemcial processes underlying them. Similarly, the methodologies employed range from animal-based models to single human case studies and group designs.

One focus is psychopharmacology and behaviour analysis. This is concerned with the function of various neurochemical circuits (especially dopamine and serotonin) in the initiation and maintenance of drug abuse and the relapse to drug abuse. The research objective is to increase understanding of the basic mechanisms involved in drug addiction and its treatment.

A related area is research into the neurochemical bases of basic behavioural processes related to reinforcement and stimulus control, including memory function and temporal perception.

A third area of interest is the experimental analysis of animal and human behaviour, to understand the processes underlying self control, impulsivity and gambling.

A fourth area of research focusses on how genetic and early environmental challenges shape our brain and behaviour. This research focusses specifically on schizophrenia, depression and autism spectrum disorders and involves behavioural, physiological and biochemical techniques.

A firth area of research is the cognitive neuroscience of perceptual and affective processing. We use brain stimulation, recordings of neural and physiological activity, and behavioural measures to investigate how we perceive, attend to, and feel about the world around us.

Another area of research in the Brain and Behaviour Group focuses on cognitive neuropsychology programmes, in particular the cognitive neuropsychology of language, or aphasia. We study brain damaged patients to develop new diagnostic tests to assist with aphasia rehabilitation.

Other research is concerned with the processing of affective (emotional stimuli) and brain hemisphere specialisation.

Staff

The following staff work in this research area: