School of Psychology

Behavioural and Clinical Neuroscience

Within this research group there is a close inter-relationship between animal, human and clinical work, and an emphasis on translational research.

Behavioural and Clinical Neuroscience Research Group Leader: Professor Aldo Badiani

The human work benefits from the developing strength of cognitive neuroscience at the University, including links with Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals and Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trusts, and the Sackler Centre for Consciousness and the Clinical Imaging Sciences Centre, both based on the Sussex Campus.

On the animal side, the Sussex group is one of the strongest groups in any UK university for the behavioural characterisation of transgenic mice, and enjoys collaborative links with molecular neuroscientists in the School of Life Sciences and with the Brighton and Sussex Medical School.

There is a dedicated unit for the laboratory study of rodents, and a human psychopharmacology laboratory, including facilities for the study of eating behaviour, alcohol and drug use, and cognitive enhancing agents.  Local facilities include a bedded unit should participants need to stay overnight.

Ageing and Dementia

We study the cognitive neuroscience of human memory and attention, and especially research changes associated with healthy and unhealthy cognitive ageing, genetic risk factors and deficits associated with neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimers and Parkinsons.
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Appetite and Obesity

Investigating the neurobiology of motivated behaviours, with specialist interest in the control of ingestion in rodents and humans.
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Addictive Behaviours

We study the neural bases of drug addiction, learning, and memory through the application of basic neuroscience, human brain imaging techniques as well as behavioural techniques both in rodents and humans. We also investigate the application of human psychopharmacology techniques to explore the detailed effects of drugs on human behaviour and cognition, as well as both preclinical and clinical investigations of the cognitive and other psychological deficits associated with long-term use of drugs such as ecstasy and alcohol.
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Influences of Early Developmental Insults on Adult Behaviour

Early life events such as drug exposure during foetal development, or childhood trauma can strongly influence the propensity to develop behavioural disorders, such as inappropriate risk taking, and drug abuse. Through preclinical studies we investigate the neural mechanisms by which such early life insults can have long term deleterious effects.
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Brain Energy

We work on how the brain maintains its energy (blood) supply, and how changes in the function of the interface between the blood system and the brain can effect brain function.
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