Chemical and Brain Basis of Uncertainty
Updating our expectations in response to new information is really important. For instance, if you arrive at the bus stop expecting your bus to arrive in 2 minutes, but discover there is a major delay, we need to alter our expectations to make a new plan for how to get to work. Surprisingly, we don’t know which parts of the brain, or which brain chemicals are involved in this process of updating our expectations.
In this project, we will use computer-based cognitive tasks to see how people learn and update their expectations. The study comprises three separate visits to the lab. On the first day you will have a brain scan while performing the cognitive tasks. On the other two days, you will perform the tasks whilst taking a short-acting drug which is routinely used to improve attention (i.e. ADHD medication) or a placebo.
This research is important for furthering our understanding of a fundamental part of our behaviour. In the long term, we can use this research to add to our understanding of how certain drugs may be more helpful to people who have specific learning or attention difficulties.
If you are interested in taking part, please email firstname.lastname@example.org