Dr Bryan Singer
Individual variation in synaptic neurobiology underlying incentive motivation and addiction
Our research investigates individual variation in the biopsychosocial underpinnings of various mental health conditions, including substance use and gambling disorders.
Exposure to reward-related cues can instigate relapse even after withdrawal for individuals with a substance use or gambling disorder. Individuals also often need to make choices about pursuing reward; numerous factors may influence these decisions. Your research will involve relating rat behavioural measurements (e.g., response to cues, drug self-administration, gambling tasks, ultrasonic vocalisations, social behaviour) to various aspects of biology (including neurotransmission, neural system activity, and dendritic spine morphology). Techniques will be used to minimise addiction-like behaviour in our animal models (e.g., pharmacological and optogenetic manipulations, social interventions).