Sussex Neuroscience

Dr Hans Crombag

Hans CrombagMechanisms of appetite, learning and addiction

Much of our daily behaviour is controlled by stimuli (cues) associated with rewards that promote survival – for instance, cues direct and attract us to nutrient sources or to potential mates. However, reward-associated cues may also promote maladaptive behaviour; for instance, food-cues may instigate overeating and cues associated with drugs of abuse can energise drug-seeking and precipitate relapse, thus contributing to addiction.

Combining behavioural neuroscience, cell-molecular and/or electrophysiological approaches, this (co-supervised by Crombag and Koya) Ph.D. project would explore the psychological and neurobiological mechanisms mediating this type of incentive learning.  

Selected Publications

(For more publications and details of the Appetite and Obesity Research group, visit:


Crombag HS, Bossert JM, Koya E, Shaham Y. (2008). Context-induced relapse to drug seeking: a review. Philos Trans R Soc Lond B Biol Sci. 12;363(1507):3233-43.

Koya, E. et al. (2009). Targeted disruption of cocaine-activated nucleus accumbens neurons prevents context-specific sensitization. Nature Neuroscience, 12 (8): 1069-1073.

Crombag, Hans S, Sutton, Jeffrey M, Takamiya, Kogo, Holland, Peter C, Gallagher, Michela and Huganir, Richard L (2008). A role for alpha-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methylisoxazole-4-propionic acid GluR1 phosphorylation in the modulatory effects of appetitive reward cues on goal-directed behavior. European Journal of Neuroscience, 27 (12): 3284-3291.