Based at the MRC Centre for Neuropsychiatric Genetics and Genomics, School of Medicine, and the Cardiff University Brain Research Imaging Centre (CUBRIC), School of Psychology.
Mental disorders are defined at the level of phenotypes/ clinical presentation but relatively little is known about the underlying biological mechanisms. At the same time, there is a huge interest in biomarkers of mental disorders such as schizophrenia to improve diagnosis and treatment monitoring.
We aim to identify such biomarkers by combining the tools of cognitive neuroscience (behavioural paradigms, functional imaging, non-invasive electrophysiology) with molecular genetics, for example using the genetic variants identified in genome-wide association studies.
We also develop protocols for the clinical application of real-time fMRI. Through this method patients can be trained in the self-regulation of brain networks, which may help overcome dysfunctional or impaired physiological processes. We are piloting this technique in affective disorders, movement disorders and addiction.
The Cardiff University Brain Research Imaging Centre (CUBRIC) houses state of the art facilities for human neuroimaging and neurophysiology. We have behavioural testing labs in the School of Psychology and access to the Clinical Research Facility for pharmacological studies.
Available PhD projects
- Behavioural and brain effects of schizophrenia (bipolar disorder, Alzheimer's disease) risk genes
- Clinical applications of fMRI-neurofeedback
- Social cognitive neuroscience
Amnesia, recognition memory, spatial memory, episodic memory, fornix