Advisory Board

Professor Trevor W. Robbins

Trevor W. Robbins, Ph.D., CBE, FRS, FMedSci, FBrPS is Professor of Cognitive Neuroscience and Experimental Psychology; Director, Behavioral and Clinical Neuroscience Institute; Head of Department Psychology; University of Cambridge.
Trevor was appointed in 1997 as the Professor of Cognitive Neuroscience at the University of Cambridge. He was elected to the Chair of Experimental Psychology (and Head of Department) at Cambridge from October 2002. He is also Director of the Behavioral and Clinical Neuroscience Institute (BCNI), jointly funded by the Medical Research Council and the Wellcome Trust. The mission of the BCNI is to interrelate basic and clinical research in psychiatry and neurology for such conditions as Parkinson’s, Huntington’s, and Alzheimer’s diseases, frontal lobe injury, schizophrenia, depression, drug addiction, and developmental syndromes such as attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder.
Trevor is a Fellow of the British Psychological Society (1990), the Academy of Medical Sciences (2000), and the Royal Society (2005). He has been President of the European Behavioral Pharmacology Society (1992–1994) and he won that Society’s inaugural Distinguished Scientist Award in 2001. He was also President of the British Association of Psychopharmacology from 1996 to 1997. He has edited the journal Psychopharmacology since 1980 and joined the editorial board of Science in January 2003. He has been a member of the Medical Research Council (UK) and chaired the Neuroscience and Mental Health Board from 1995 until 1999.
He has been included on a list of the 100 most cited neuroscientists by ISI, has published over 600 full papers in scientific journals and has co-edited Psychology for Medicine, Disorders of Brain and Mind: Volume 2, Drugs and the Future: Brain Science, Addiction and Society, The Neurobiology of Addiction, Decision-making, Affect and Learning: Attention and Performance XXIII, and Cognitive Search: Evolution, Algorithms, and the Brain.
Trevor was jointly awarded (with B.J. Everitt) the American Psychological Association Distinguished Contribution Award in 2011, and received the CBE for contributions to medical research in the New Year’s Honors List of 2012.
His research interests span the areas of cognitive neuroscience, behavioral neuroscience and psychopharmacology. His work focuses on functions of the frontal lobes of the brain and their connections with other regions, including the so-called brain reward systems in the striatum and the limbic system. These brain systems are relevant to such neuropsychiatric and neurological disorders as Parkinson’s and Huntington’s diseases, frontal dementia, schizophrenia, depression, drug addiction, obsessive-compulsive disorder and attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder, as well as frontal lobe injury.
Trevor is using a variety of methods for studying these systems, including experimental psychological paradigms for investigating cognitive functions such as planning, decision-making and self-control (impulsivity) in both normal subjects and patients; these include the computerized CANTAB battery, which he co-invented. He also employs functional brain imaging using brain scanners that operate via magnetic resonance imaging or positron emission tomography (PET) to determine where in the human brain various cognitive operations are carried out. In addition, he is interested in establishing how drugs work to produce changes in brain chemistry, and how these affect behaviour. Two particular current interests are characterizing beneficial effects of drugs on cognition, as may occur with “cognitive enhancing” drugs used clinically, and deleterious effects of drugs of abuse, such as cocaine and amphetamine.
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