Dr James Mccutcheon
Department of Neuroscience
University of Leicester
Neuroscience, Psychology and Behaviour
My research is focused on understanding the neural processes that govern behaviour towards rewards – both adaptive rewards (e.g. food) and maladaptive rewards (e.g. drugs). In particular, how does our experience with such rewards shape our future responses towards them and how do other stimuli and cues that are associated with rewards become able to motivate behaviour? A number of diseases, particularly drug addiction and obesity, may involve dysfunction in processes such as these. The neurotransmitter dopamine is critical for many of these behaviours and, accordingly my research, is based on understanding dopamine signalling. I use a number of techniques to investigate this, including electrophysiology and voltammetry, which allow real-time measurements of neural activity and neurotransmitter release.
Fortin SM, McHenry JA, Stuber GD, McCutcheon JE, Roitman MF, et al., (2016). Physiological state gates acquisition and expression of mesolimbic reward prediction signals.