Professor of Cognitive Neuroscience and Experimental Psychology, Department of Psychology, University of Cambridge
Professor Trevor Robbins’ research interests span the areas of cognitive neuroscience, behavioural neuroscience and psychopharmacology. His main work focuses on the functions of the frontal lobes of the brain and their connections with other regions, including the so-called ‘brain reward systems’ which have been discovered in other animals.
These brain systems are relevant to such psychiatric and neurological disorders as Parkinson’s and Huntington’s disease, dementia, schizophrenia, depression, drug addiction, obsessive-compulsive disorder and attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder, as well as frontal lobe injury.
Professor Robbins adopts a variety of methods for studying these systems, including sophisticated psychological paradigms for investigating cognitive functions such as planning, decision-making and self-control (impulsivity) in both volunteer subjects and patients.
He is also interested in establishing how drugs work to produce changes in brain chemistry, and how these affect behaviour. In particular in characterising the beneficial effects of drugs on cognition, as may occur with clinically used ‘cognitive enhancing’ drugs. As well as the deleterious effects of drugs of abuse, such as cocaine and amphetamine, which may lead to possible long-term intellectual impairment.
In addition, Professor Robbins is also Director of Cambridge MRC Centre in Behavioural and Clinical Neuroscience, the main objective of which is to inter-relate basic and clinical research in Psychiatry and Neurology for such conditions as Parkinson’s and Huntington’s.
Trevor is a Fellow of the British Psychological Society and the Academy of Medical Sciences, and won the European Behavioural Pharmacology Society inaugural Distinguished Scientist Award in 2001.