Professor Val Curran

Professor Val Curran

Professor of Psychopharmacology

 Telephone : 020 7679 1898

E-mail :


My research interests include

  • Enhancing our understanding of the neurochemistry of memory, cognition and emotional processing.
  • Differentiating the actions of different cannabinoids on schizotypal symptoms, cognition and addiction-related processes.
  • Exploring pharmacological models of psychotic symptoms such as delusions using ketamine and cannabinoids in both challenge studies (acute administration to healthy volunteers) and natural populations of chronic users of these substances.
  • Determining the short- and long-term effects of 'recreational' drugs such as MDMA (ecstasy), cannabis, stimulants & ketamine on cognition, emotion and the brain.
  • Understanding how opiates prescribed for pain affect patients’ cognition and emotional processing, including the perception of pain-related stimuli.
  • Elucidating the processes involved in the transition from drug use to drug addiction.

Recent and current grants

  • 2004-2006 Piccini P, Brooks D, Grasby P and Curran HV. Parkinson’s Disease Society. An in vivo PET study into the striatal toxicity of MDMA (‘ecstasy’) as a possible cause of Parkinsonism.
  • 2004-2007 Mackenzie-Ross S, Curran HV, Brewin C, Henry J. DEFRA. A case controlled study of neuropsychological and psychiatric functioning in sheep farmers exposed to organophosphate pesticides.
  • 2005-2008 Curran HV. ESRC. The determinants and psychological consequences of ketamine use.
  • 2008 Curran HV & Morgan CJA. AERC.The acute effects of alcohol on prospective memory and related executive functions.
  • 2008-2012 Curran HV & Morgan CJA. MRC. What determines an individual's vunerability to the harmful effects of cannabis?
  • 2009-2011 Kamboj SK, Morgan, CJA & Curran HV. MRC. Exploring the potential of D-Cycloserine and cannabidiol to enhance cue exposure therapies in substance dependence.
  • 2009-2012 Curran HV. MRC & ESRC. Salience attribution and psychotic-like symptoms in ketamine and cannabis users.
  • 2011 Kamboj SK, Bisby JA & Curran HV. AERC. Acute effects of alcohol on spatial navigation and processing of dynamic facial affect

Internal Collaborators

Dr Celia Morgan

Dr Brigitta Brandner

Prof Eileen Joyce

Dr Jon Roiser

Dr Sunjeev Kamboj

Dr Oliver Mason

Prof Chris Brewin

External Collaborators

Prof Paul Grasby

Dr Paul Fletcher

Dr Peter Rendell

Dr Brian Levine

Dr Alyson Bond

Dr Peter Ulhaas

Dr Paula Piccini

Dr Paul Davis

Selected publications

Morgan CJA & Curran HV (2008). Effects of cannabidiol on schizophrenia-like symptoms in people who use cannabis. British Journal of Psychiatry 192, 306-307.

Muetzelfeldt L, Kamboj S, Rees H, Taylor J, Morgan CJA & Curran HV (2008). Journey through the K-hole: phenomenological aspects of ketamine use. Drug and Alcohol Dependence 95(3), 219-229.

Curran HV and Drummond C (2005) State of Science Review: Psychological Treatments for substance misuse and dependence. Foresight Brain Science, Addiction and Drugs Review. Science/Psychological Treatments.pdf

Curran HV (2000) Psychopharmacological Approaches to Human Memory. In M Gazzaniga (Ed) The New Cognitive Neurosciences. MIT Press: Boston (pp 797-805).

Curran HV and Weingartner H (2002) Psychopharmacology of Memory. In A Baddeley, B Wilson and M Kopelman (eds) The Handbook of Memory Disorders. Wiley: New York. (pp 123-141).

More publications