At the Clinical Psychopharmacology Unit (CPU) researchers are addressing the following questions:
- How do drugs act on the brain to affect human cognition, behaviour and emotion?
- Why are some individuals more vulnerable than others to the harmful effects of drugs?
- What mechanisms underpin the transition from occasional drug use to addiction?
- How well can drugs, given acutely or chronically, model psychotic symptoms and what implications does this have for treating psychoses?
- Can we find an effective pharmacological treatment for cannabis addiction?
- Can maladaptive reward memories be re-written to treat drug addiction?
- Is it possible to use neuroimaging to measure when memories are updating?
- What are the receptor pathways involved in memory plasticity and can these be targeted in humans?
We use a wide range of methods:
- RCTs (Randomised Controlled Trials) to investigate new treatments for addiction,
- Behavioural and neuropsychological assessments
- Psychophysiological recordings
- Neuroimaging (fMRI, PET & EEG)
We work in:
- 3 laboratories which are equipped for clinical trials, biological sampling, eye-movement and other types of psychophysiological measurements
- Drug treatment services in the local area
- Imaging facilities at UCL and with our collaborators at IMANOVA
- …We have been known to set up laboratories in nightclubs