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Dr Sunjeev Kamboj

Dr Sunjeev Kamboj

Reader and Deputy Director CPU

Address: 1-19 Torrington Place, Research Department of Clinical, Educational and Health Psychology, University College London WC1E 7HB  

Tel: +(44) 207 679 1958 

Email: sunjeev.kamboj@ucl.ac.uk

Research Interests:

Our studies in humans are aimed at improving the effectiveness of pharmacological and psychological treatments. By manipulating a sensitive period during memory retrieval called ‘reconsolidation,’ we are examining the possibility that addiction-related memories can be weakened, leading to reduced drug-taking behaviour. Ravi Das, Postdoctoral Associate, has developed procedures for memory destabilisation which allow memory networks to be modified using NMDA receptor antagonists and disgust counter-conditioning. We also examine whether procedures used in cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) can be enhanced if they are performed in the context of memory reconsolidation.

Another strand of research examines whether emotion regulation strategies, including “third wave” behavioural therapy techniques, can be used to manage drug/alcohol craving and other difficult emotional experiences. We aim to improve our understanding of the biological basis of meditative practices (such as mindfulness and compassion-oriented practices) and determine whether these can be enhanced pharmacologically

Recent and Current Grants

2013-2015

Self-Affirmation-based Enhancement of Risks/Harms Feedback. 
Alcohol Research UK

Sunjeev Kamboj (PI) with Stuart Linke and Val Curran.

Using social and health psychology theory, this project examines whether a ‘self-enhancement’ procedure makes people more likely to process alcohol-risk-related information

2014-2015

Compassionate imagery in recreational drug users.
Beckley Foundation

Sunjeev Kamboj (PI)

Compassion-oriented procedures (e.g. loving kindness meditation, compassion-focused therapy techniques) rely on an affiliative-attachment system modulated by dopamine and oxytocin. By studying recreational users of MDMA, we are looking at the possibility that these procedures can be pharmacologically enhanced as well as the factors that might be implicated in this enhancement.

2014-2017

Reconsolidation and Memory Interference Toolkit (ReMIT): Identifying how to destabilise and overwrite maladaptive alcohol memories.
MRC

Sunjeev Kamboj (PI) with Ravi Das, Val Curran, Leun Otten and Merel Kindt.

Reconsolidation is essentially a ‘silent’ process, the occurrence of which can currently only be inferred through the effects of drug- and behavioural-manipulations on memory. We will develop a ‘tool kit’ for use in humans to study reconsolidation in an attempt to identify neurophysiological signatures indicative of ‘memory destabilisation.’ This will speed up the process of developing effective reconsolidation-based treatments for addictions and related disorders.

Internal Collaborators External Collaborators
Professor Val Curran Dr Adrian Tookman (Royal Free) 
Dr Oliver Mason  
Dr William Mandy  

Full list of publications