Bernard Wolfe Professor of Health Neuroscience, Wellcome Trust Senior Clinical Fellow, Department of Psychiatry
I am interested in how the brain learns about associations in the environment. Many of our behaviours are governed by how we learn about and respond to environmental stimuli, particularly with regard to the capacity of those stimuli for predicting pleasant or aversive outcomes. These behaviours can become so automatic and stimulus-driven that they persist even when the outcomes are no longer consciously desirable or when we would prefer not to attain them. Understanding how the behaviours emerge requires an understanding of how we learn to associate stimuli with outcomes as well as how underlying motivational states might modify this. From this understanding, perhaps we might be able to develope ideas about the aberrant processes that lead to changes in such behaviours as would be the case in, for example, certain mental illnesses, addictions and health-harming behaviour more generally.
I use functional neuroimaging, pharmacological manipulations and behavioural studies to try to develope this understanding.
My research is funded by The Bernard Wolfe Health Neuroscience Fund and theWellcome Trust.
Honey GD, Corlett PR, Absalom AR, Lee M, Pomarol-Clotet E, Murray GK, McKenna PJ, Bullmore ET, Menon DK, Fletcher PC. Individual brain responses to cognitive challenge predict the psychological effects of ketamine: a link between brain function and mental symptoms. Journal of Neuroscience 2008 28(25): 6295-6303
Murray GK, Corlett PR, Clark L, Pessiglione M, Blackwell AD, Honey G, Jones PB, Bullmore ET, Robbins TW, Fletcher PC. Substantia nigra/ventral tegmental reward prediction error disruption in psychosis. Mol Psychiatry. 2008 Mar;13(3):239, 267-76
Farooqi IS, Bullmore E, Keogh J, Gillard J, O’Rahilly S, Fletcher PC. Leptin regulates striatal regions and human eating behavior. Science 2007 Sep 7;317(5843)
Corlett PR, Murray GK, Honey GD, Aitken MR, Shanks DR, Robbins TW, Bullmore ET, Dickinson A, Fletcher PC. Disrupted prediction-error signal in psychosis: evidence for an associative account of delusions. Brain 2007 Sep;130(Pt 9):2387-400
Tobler PN, Fletcher PC, Bullmore ET, Schultz W. Learning-related human brain activations reflecting individual finances. Neuron 2007: Apr 5;54(1):167-75
Corlett PR, Honey GD, Aitken MRF, Dickinson A, Shanks DR, Absalom AR, Lee M, Pomarol-Clotet E, Murray GK, McKenna PJ, Robbins TW, Bullmore ET, Fletcher PC. Frontal responses during learning predict vulnerability to the psychotogenic effects of ketamine: linking cognition, brain activity and psychosis. Archives of General Psychiatry 2006: 63(6): 611-621
Honey GD, Honey RAE, O’Loughlin C, Sharar SR, Kumaran D, Suckling J, Menon DK, Sleator C, Bullmore ET, Fletcher PC. Ketamine disrupts frontal and hippocampal contribution to encoding and retrieval of episodic memory: an fMRI study. Cerebral Cortex 2005: 15(6) 749-59
Corlett PR, Aitken MRF, Dickinson A, Shanks DR, Honey GD, Honey RAE, Robbins TW, Bullmore ET, Fletcher PC. Prediction error signal during retrospective revaluation of causal associations in humans: fMRI evidence in favour of an associative model of learning. Neuron 2004: 44 877-888
Fletcher PC, JM Anderson, DR Shanks, R Honey, TA Carpenter, T Donovan, N Papadakis, ET Bullmore. Responses of human frontal cortex to surprising events are predicted by formal associative learning theory. Nature Neuroscience 2001 4(10) 1043 – 1048
Dolan RJ, Fletcher PC. Dissociating prefrontal and hippocampal function in episodic memory encoding. Nature 1997 388: 585 – 588