Neural circuitry and neurochemistry of decision making

Year of award: 2017


  • Dr Laurence Hunt

    University of Oxford

Project summary

We often attempt to manipulate brain chemistry in order to treat psychiatric symptoms, but we don't yet understand how to link chemical changes to changes in motivation and decision making. My research aims to understand the relationship between our brain chemistry and our decision making behaviour.

I will collect brain imaging data for humans performing simple tasks involving decision making. I will collaborate with other researchers who record cellular data in animals performing similar tasks. I will study the effects of psychiatric drugs on relevant brain activity and relate the complementary information derived from human and animal studies. This will provide some of the missing links between molecular and behavioural explanations of drug interventions in health and disease.

This study is important for understanding how the brain makes decisions, and its findings may contribute to the development of new treatments for mental health conditions.