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Department of Psychology


I completed my PhD at in the Department of Plant Sciences at University of Cambridge in 2000. My postgraduate research focused on the localisation of arabinoxylans in the cell wall of wheat kernels using microscopy, histochemistry and high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC). I joined the Department of Psychology in 2009 where I currently manage the HPLC laboratory. I have been a member of Clare Hall College, Cambridge University since 1995.


References of my daily work:

Glutamate level analysis: Effects of excitotoxic lesions of the rat prefrontal cortex on CREB regulation and presynaptic markers of dopamine and amino acid function in the nucleus accumbens.  Dalley JW, Thomas KL, Howes SR, Tsai TH, Aparicio-Legarza MI, Reynolds GP, Everitt BJ, Robbins TW.  Eur J Neurosci. 1999 Apr;11(4):1265-74. 

Oxytocin level:




Key publications: 

Social dominance in rats: effects on cocaine self-administration, novelty reactivity and dopamine receptor binding and content in the striatum.
Jupp B, Murray JE, Jordan ER, Xia J, Fluharty M, Shrestha S, Robbins TW, Dalley JW.
Psychopharmacology (Berl). 2015 Nov 10.

Alpha-Synuclein Produces Early Behavioral Alterations Via Striatal Cholinergic Synaptic Dysfunction by Interacting with GluN2D N-Methyl-D-Aspartate Receptor Subunit.
Tozzi A, de Iure A, Bagetta V, Tantucci M, Durante V, Quiroga-Varela A, Costa C, Di Filippo M, Ghiglieri V, Latagliata EC, Wegrzynowicz M, Decressac M, Giampà C, Dalley JW, Xia J, Gardoni F, Mellone M, El-Agnaf OM, Ardah MT, Puglisi-Allegra S, Björklund A, Spillantini MG, Picconi B, Calabresi P.
Biol Psychiatry. 2015 Aug 20. pii: S0006-3223(15)00678-2. doi:

Role of Central Serotonin in Anticipation of Rewarding and Punishing Outcomes: Effects of Selective Amygdala or Orbitofrontal 5-HT Depletion.
Rygula R, Clarke HF, Cardinal RN, Cockcroft GJ, Xia J, Dalley JW, Robbins TW, Roberts AC.
Cereb Cortex. 2015 Sep;25(9):3064-76. doi: 10.1093/cercor/bhu102. Epub 2014 May 30.

Nonaggressive and adapted social cognition is controlled by the interplay between noradrenergic and nicotinic receptor mechanisms in the prefrontal cortex.
Coura RS, Cressant A, Xia J, de Chaumont F, Olivo-Marin JC, Pelloux Y, Dalley JW, Granon S.
FASEB J. 2013 Nov;27(11):4343-54. doi: 10.1096/fj.13-231084. Epub 2013 Jul 23.
PMID: 23882123

Leptin does not directly affect CNS serotonin neurons to influence appetite.
Lam DD, Leinninger GM, Louis GW, Garfield AS, Marston OJ, Leshan RL, Scheller EL, Christensen L, Donato J Jr, Xia J, Evans ML, Elias C, Dalley JW, Burdakov DI, Myers MG Jr, Heisler LK.
Cell Metab. 2011 May 4;13(5):584-91. doi: 10.1016/j.cmet.2011.03.016.
PMID: 21531340

Distinct physiological and behavioural functions for parental alleles of imprinted Grb10.
Garfield AS, Cowley M, Smith FM, Moorwood K, Stewart-Cox JE, Gilroy K, Baker S, Xia J, Dalley JW, Hurst LD, Wilkinson LS, Isles AR, Ward A.
Nature. 2011 Jan 27;469(7331):534-8. doi: 10.1038/nature09651.
PMID: 21270893

Epigenetic modification of vomeronasal (V2r) precursor neurons by histone deacetylation.
Xia J, Broad KD, Emson PC, Keverne EB.
Neuroscience. 2010 Sep 1;169(3):1462-72. doi: 10.1016/j.neuroscience.2010.05.071. Epub 2010 Jun 8.
PMID: 20594945

A metabolomic study of the CRND8 transgenic mouse model of Alzheimer's disease.
Salek RM, Xia J, Innes A, Sweatman BC, Adalbert R, Randle S, McGowan E, Emson PC, Griffin JL.
Neurochem Int. 2010 Jul;56(8):937-47. doi: 10.1016/j.neuint.2010.04.001. Epub 2010 Apr 14.
PMID: 20398713

Urinary pheromones promote ERK/Akt phosphorylation, regeneration and survival of vomeronasal (V2R) neurons.
Xia J, Sellers LA, Oxley D, Smith T, Emson P, Keverne EB.
Eur J Neurosci. 2006 Dec;24(12):3333-42.
PMID: 17229082

Age-related decline in striatal dopamine content and motor performance occurs in the absence of nigral cell loss in a genetic mouse model of Parkinson's disease.
Colebrooke RE, Humby T, Lynch PJ, McGowan DP, Xia J, Emson PC.
Eur J Neurosci. 2006 Nov;24(9):2622-30.
PMID: 17100850