Psychobiology research

The Psychobiology group comprises staff interested in motivated behaviours (eating, drinking, drug-taking, pain) and learning & memory.

Topics under investigation include: the role of learning and memory in appetite and drug taking; the psychobiological bases of appetite (Dr Suzanne Higgs) and the basic mechanisms of long term memory; fear conditioning and appetitive reward seeking (Dr Jonathan Lee).

Eating studyThe work is supported by the European Commision, The European Federation for the Study of Diabetes (EFSD), The Medical Research Council UK (MRC) and Leverhulme grants.


The psychobiology research facilities include several large testing rooms, individual subject booths, a video suite for observational analysis, a neuroscience laboratory (suitable for histology, microscopy, drug and chemical preparation, urine analysis), and a fully fitted kitchen. We have equipment for monitoring heart rate and blood pressure (Dinamap pro-series 100-400), measuring expired air carbon monoxide and blood-alcohol levels. We have up-to-date facilities for conducting experiments on associative learning (Pavlovian and instrumental) and we have facilities for delivering rapid pulses of noxious heat suitable for use with associative learning and with EEG and fMRI.

Current Grants

Sponsor Name  Investigator
EU Dr Suzanne Higgs
EFSD Dr Suzanne Higgs
MRC Dr Jonathan Lee
Leverhulme Trust Dr Jonathan Lee