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Prof Ray Dolan
Wellcome Trust Centre for Neuroimaging, UCL
12 Queen Square
Tel: 0203 108 7538
Fax: 0207 8131445
Prof Ray Dolan profile picture
  • Kinross Professor of Neuropsychiatry
  • Imaging Neuroscience
  • UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology
  • Faculty of Brain Sciences

Ray Dolan is Mary Kinross Professor of Neuropsychiatry  at UCL. He was the founding Director of the Wellcome Trust Centre for Human Neuroimaging (2006-2015). His research addresses the neurobiology of emotion and decision making, including how decision making breaks down in neurological and psychiatric disease. He has published over 700 peer reviewed research papers. He has received numerous awards including the Alexander Von Humboldt Research Award (2004), the Minerva Foundation Golden Brain Award (2006), the International Max Planck Research Award (2007), International Prize for Translational Neuroscience of the Gertrud Reemtsma Foundation, Cologne (2013) ,The Brain Prize (2017) and The Ferrier Medal and Lecture, Royal Society (2019).  Between 2010-2014 he has been Visiting Einstein Fellow at the the Humboldt University, Berlin.  He was elected Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences (FMedSci) in 2000, Fellow of the Royal Society (FRS) in 2010 and an External Member of the Max Planck Society (MPS) in 2012.  He holds an Honorary Professorship at the Humboldt University, Berlin. He established the first Centre for Computational Psychiatry at UCL, a joint venture with the Max Planck Society (MPS) and where he serves as Director. 

Research Summary

I study reward and human decision making, including its relationship to psychopathology, using a range of methodologies. The research programme of the group is guided by longstanding ideas that behavioural control is an attribute of model-free (habitual) and model-based (goal directed) processing. The group avail of a range of data derived from behavioural analysis, computational modelling, psychopharmacological manipulations as well as brain imaging, primarily involving fMRI and MEG. The group harness  insights  from these methodologies to address critical determinants of human decision making under uncertainty across a range of contexts, including in those with anxiety and depression. A recent focus addresses how we build cognitive maps of the environment and how such a map supports model based decision making. Here the lab has developed sophisticated decoding tools, in collaboration with the lab of Timothy Behrens, that enable indexing of fast replay of neural representations during learning, episodic memory and decision making. The group are extending these methodologies to study neural replay in the context of reward and punishment, as well as in the study of psychopathology.

Academic Background
2010   Fellow of the Royal Society Royal Society
2002   Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians Royal College of Physicians
2000   Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences Academy of Medical Sciences
1995   Fellow of the Royal College of Psychiatrists Royal College of Psychiatrists
1988   Doctor of Medicine National University of Ireland
1981   Member of the Royal College of Psychiatrists Royal College of Psychiatrists
1977   Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery National University of Ireland
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