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Department of Psychology

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How does the brain control impulsive and compulsive actions and stop inappropriate or unwanted behaviour? This question is relevant to many illnesses where brain function is altered (e.g,. ADHD, Parkinson's disease, OCD, schizophrenia, compulsive gambling, eating disorders and drug addiction), each of which has symptoms of excessive or unwanted impulsive/compulsive behaviour.

Models of rodent behaviour permit us to study the anatomy and pharmacology of inhibitory failure in great detail. We develop behavioural tests that can be used in rats and mice to analyse drug actions on behaviour and often these behavioural methods can translate directly with patient assessment in the clinic. This may improve the development of treatment strategies that would not otherwise be possible or practical from studies of patient populations alone.


Key publications: 

Publications since 2007

d'Angelo L-SC, Eagle DM, Grant JE, Fineberg N, Robbins TW, Chamberlain SR (in press), "Animal models of obsessive-compulsive spectrum disorders." CNS Spectrums

Bari A, Mar AC, Theobald DE, Elands SA, Oganya KC, Eagle DM, Robbins TW (2011), “Prefrontal and monoaminergic contributions to stop-signal task performance in rats.” J Neurosci 31(25):9254-63

Eagle DM, Wong JC, Allan ME, Mar AC, Theobald DE, Robbins TW (2011), “Contrasting Roles for Dopamine D1 and D2 Receptor Subtypes in the Dorsomedial Striatum but Not the Nucleus Accumbens Core during Behavioral Inhibition in the Stop-Signal Task in Rats.” J Neurosci 31(20):7349-56

Mar AC, Walker AL, Theobald DE, Eagle DM, Robbins TW (2011), “Dissociable effects of lesions to orbitofrontal cortex subregions on impulsive choice in the rat.” J Neurosci 31(17):6398-404

Eagle DM, Baunez C (2010), “Is there an inhibitory-response-control system in the rat? Evidence from anatomical and pharmacological studies of behavioral inhibition.” Neurosci Biobehav Rev 34(1):50-72

Bari A, Eagle DM, Mar AC, Robinson ES, Robbins TW (2009), “Dissociable effects of noradrenaline, dopamine, and serotonin uptake blockade on stop task performance in rats.” Psychopharmacology (Berl) 205(2):273-83

Eagle DM, Lehmann O, Theobald DE, Pena Y, Zakaria R, Ghosh R, Dalley JW, Robbins TW (2009), “Serotonin depletion impairs waiting but not stop-signal reaction time in rats: implications for theories of the role of 5-HT in behavioral inhibition.” Neuropsychopharmacology 34(5):1311-21

Robinson ES, Eagle DM, Economidou D, Theobald DE, Mar AC, Murphy ER, Robbins TW, Dalley JW (2009), “Behavioural characterisation of high impulsivity on the 5-choice serial reaction time task: specific deficits in 'waiting' versus 'stopping'.” Behav Brain Res 196(2):310-6

Eagle DM, Bari A, Robbins TW (2008), “The neuropsychopharmacology of action inhibition: cross-species translation of the stop-signal and go/no-go tasks.” Psychopharmacology (Berl) 199(3):439-56

Eagle DM, Baunez C, Hutcheson DM, Lehmann O, Shah AP, Robbins TW (2008), “Stop-signal reaction-time task performance: role of prefrontal cortex and subthalamic nucleus.” Cereb Cortex 18(1):178-88

Robinson ES, Eagle DM, Mar AC, Bari A, Banerjee G, Jiang X, Dalley JW, Robbins TW (2008), “Similar effects of the selective noradrenaline reuptake inhibitor atomoxetine on three distinct forms of impulsivity in the rat.” Neuropsychopharmacology 33(5):1028-37

Aron AR, Durston S, Eagle DM, Logan GD, Stinear CM, Stuphorn V (2007), “Converging evidence for a fronto-basal-ganglia network for inhibitory control of action and cognition.” J Neurosci 27(44):11860-4

Eagle DM, Tufft MR, Goodchild HL, Robbins TW (2007), “Differential effects of modafinil and methylphenidate on stop-signal reaction time task performance in the rat, and interactions with the dopamine receptor antagonist cis-flupenthixol.” Psychopharmacology (Berl) 192(2):193-206

Senior Research Associate
Associate Lecturer in Evolution and Behaviour and Animal Biology, Newnham College, Cambridge
Person keywords: 
executive function
Takes PhD students
Not available for consultancy