Our overall aim is to understand the role of the neural mechanisms involved in emotional behaviour in the development of psychotic symptoms and psychotic disorders such as schizophrenia, and to investigate whether targeting these mechanisms can help design new therapeutic strategies for psychosis. We do this through three interrelated research themes:
Emotional circuit-based studies on the extended psychosis phenotype
We use neuroimaging methods and behavioural assays to characterise the neural correlates of social and emotional information processing across the psychosis spectrum (schizotypy, clinical high risk of psychosis, first-episode psychosis).
The role of GABA/glutamate balance within emotional brain circuits in psychosis pathophysiology
We combine molecular imaging methods in rodent models of psychosis development and in patients in the early stages of psychosis to link molecular mechanisms to functional and behavioural observations.
Can we modulate emotional brain circuits to design new disease-modifying drugs?
We use state-of-the-art translational in vivo imaging methods across species (rodents and humans) to allow a detailed analysis of the effects of pharmacological intervention on emotional brain circuits in the development of psychosis-like phenotypes.