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Dr Steve Kennerley
509
Queen Square House
Queen Square
London
WC1N3BG
Appointment
  • Senior Lecturer
  • Motor Neurosci & Mov Disorders
  • Institute of Neurology
  • Faculty of Brain Sciences
Research Themes
Research Summary

A key question in the behavioral sciences is how we determine the best course of action among competing alternatives. We often must make decisions that require a consideration of both our internal needs and goals as well as the potential costs of meeting those needs. How do we ensure that we consistently make decisions that will most efficiently realize our needs and goals?


Areas of the prefrontal cortex (PFC) play an important role in this process, as damage to these areas has been associated with dramatic changes in emotion, cognition and decision-making. Dysfunction of these areas has also been associated with neuropsychiatric illnesses that disrupt choice behavior, particularly those that involve compulsive or impulsive choices (e.g., depression, addiction, obsessive-compulsive, anxiety, and attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder). Understanding the functions of these areas is therefore crucial for understanding decision-making in both health and disease.

Our working philosophy is that to understand behavior in both health and disease, we must understand the anatomical networks and neural computations/mechanisms that support behavior. To accomplish this, we use a range of methodological approaches including electrophysiology (single neuron, local field potentials), human neuroimaging (fMRI, MEG), and biophysical and computational modeling. We also test causal links between these brain regions and behavior by testing specific patient populations and using reversible inactivation (pharmacological or stimulation) techniques.

Academic Background
2006 DPhil Doctor of Philosophy – Experimental Psychology University of Oxford
2001 BA Bachelor of Arts – Integrative Biomedical Sciences University of California - Berkeley
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