The neurochemical basis of adaptive behaviour in healthy individuals and disease

Lead Research Organisation: University of Nottingham
Department Name: Sch of Psychology


Recently, a German train dispatcher pressed a wrong button combination on a keypad, leading to a train collision with 12 fatalities. We usually try to avoid such major errors, or at least correct them, by monitoring our behaviour. The posterior medial frontal cortex (pMFC) plays a crucial role for such performance monitoring functions, and damage to the pMFC has been associated with impairments in action selection in a range of neurological disorders. This project aims at investigating the neural basis of performance monitoring and adaptive behavior using electrophysiological and brain imaging techniques. Specifically, the project will utilize behavioural tasks that elicit both errors and subsequent performance adjustments and relate behavioural performance to both electrophysiological (EEG) and neurochemical markers (proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy [MRS]) of brain function. In addition to investigating adaptive behavior in neurologically healthy individuals, the project will also focus upon understanding alterations in brain functions associated with common mental health conditions, for instance schizophrenia, autism spectrum or obsessive-compulsive disorders.


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