Frontostriatal systems in impulsive-compulsive disorders


  • Prof Trevor Robbins

    University of Cambridge

Project summary

Professor Robbins studies the relationship between dysfunction in discrete neural systems and the impulsive and compulsive behaviour that accompanies some psychiatric disorders such as obsessive-compulsive disorder, attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder and stimulant drug addiction. An overarching goal of his work is to increase our understanding of the neural mechanisms governing cognitive control. As part of his award, Professor Robbins plans to test whether abnormal compulsions are a result of aberrant stimulus-response habit learning that is potentially exacerbated by impaired anxiety and cognitive control. To do this, he will use state-of-the-art experimental techniques such as DREADDs (designer receptors exclusively activated by designer drugs), optogenetics and neuroimaging to study and compare animal models of impulsivity and compulsivity with key patient populations.