I am the director of the Psychopharmacology and Emotional Research Lab (PERL) based at the University Department of Psychiatry in Oxford. We are a multi-disciplinary team including cognitive neuroscientists, psychiatrists, psychopharmacologists and psychologists.
We focus on the psychological mechanisms of antidepressant drug action with conventional and novel candidate treatments, challenging the typical division between these different approaches. To do this, we apply an experimental medicine approach, focused on neurocognitive measures of emotional processing in both healthy volunteers and patient samples.
This research helps to integrate psychological and pharmacological views of depression and treatment and has challenged the way in which we typically consider drug treatment for depression to work (see Harmer et al 2017). In addition this research has led to the development of human experimental models to explore the effects of novel drugs for the treatment of depression and anxiety. This work has also been applied in the clinic to provide an earlier marker of SSRI non-response in primary care (Browning et al., 2021).
Executive Committee Officer, European College of Neuropsychopharmacology (ECNP)
Council, British Neuroscience Association (BNA)
NIHR panel Research and Innovation for Global Health Transformation panel member
Wellcome Trust Expert Review Panellist (2016-2019)
Associate Editor for Psychological Medicine
Editorial board membership Biological Psychiatry and Biological Psychiatry: Cognitive Neuroscience and Neuroimaging
DPhil, MA, DipLATHE
Professor of Cognitive Neuroscience
- Research Fellow at Corpus Christi College
Read our Mental Elf blog on SSRIs and Psychotherapy for adolescent depression
Follow us on twitter @OxfordPERL
Experimental Medicine Hub
We will be hosting an AIMday in Experimental Medicine in Psychiatry on Wednesday 7th July 2021. This event will bring together academic excellence from across the University of Oxford together with industry to help answer the most pressing challenges in this area, as identified by industry.
This day marks the launch of our NIHR BRC experimental medicine hub linking academia and industry to facilitate the use of experimental medicine approaches for treatment development
AIM day Link
Atorvastatin increases fear processing in healthy participants
Martens M. et al, (2020), EUROPEAN NEUROPSYCHOPHARMACOLOGY, 40, S419 - S420
Effect of acute citalopram on self-referential emotional processing and social cognition in healthy volunteers.
Hobbs C. et al, (2020), BJPsych Open, 6
Measuring Mood Instability Using a Generative Model of Affect
Pulcu E. et al, (2020), BIOLOGICAL PSYCHIATRY, 87, S305 - S306
Translating the promise of 5HT4 receptor agonists for the treatment of depression.
Murphy SE. et al, (2020), Psychol Med, 1 - 10
Does repeatedly viewing overweight versus underweight images change perception of and satisfaction with own body size?
Bould H. et al, (2020), Royal Society Open Science, 7, 190704 - 190704
Neurocognitive processes in d-cycloserine augmented single-session exposure therapy for anxiety: A randomized placebo-controlled trial.
Reinecke A. et al, (2020), Behav Res Ther, 129
A single administration of 'microbial' D-alanine to healthy volunteers augments reaction to negative emotions: A comparison with D-serine.
Capitão LP. et al, (2020), J Psychopharmacol
Can a Predictive Processing Framework Improve the Specification of Negative Bias in Depression?
Harmer CJ. and Browning M., (2020), Biol Psychiatry, 87, 382 - 383
Emotional recognition training modifies neural response to emotional faces but does not improve mood in healthy volunteers with high levels of depressive symptoms.
Penton-Voak IS. et al, (2020), Psychol Med, 1 - 9