Work in her laboratory uses behavioural studies alongside neuropharmacological and neurochemical approaches to study the role of specific neural and neurochemical systems in the control of behaviour. She is particularly interested in developing novel models, that can be also be used in humans, to study the cause and treatment of psychiatric conditions where emotional changes are an important feature e.g. depression and anxiety. In addition, the work is also relevant to other psychiatric conditions including drug addiction, schizophrenia and ADHD.
These novel behavioural methods are used in combination with pharmacology and/or genetic approaches to manipulate specific neural and neurochemical processes to test specific hypotheses relating to the cause and treatment of different pscyhiatric disorders.
The laboratory uses a wide range of techniques to compliment the behavioural procedures including receptor autoradiography and immunocytochemistry to quantify the expression and distribution of receptors in the brain. Neurochemical experiments using microdialysis facilitate quantification of brain transmitters whilst genetic approaches such as antisense technology and viral-mediated gene transfer are used to alter the expression and/or function of target proteins in the brain.