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Dr Dawn Eagle

Dr Dawn Eagle

Senior Research Associate, Department of Psychology, University of Cambridge

Associate Lecturer in Biological Sciences, Newnham College, Cambridge


Dawn Eagle completed her PhD in animal behavioural research in the Department of Zoology at the University of Cambridge. She has since worked as a Research Associate in behavioural neuroscience, most recently in the Department of Psychology, University of Cambridge. She has been a Senior Research Associate since 2012.

Departments and Institutes


Research Interests

How does the brain control impulsive and compulsive actions and stop inappropriate behaviour? This question is relevant to many illnesses where brain function is altered (e.g,. ADHD, Parkinson's disease, OCD, schizophrenia, compulsive gambling, eating disorders and drug addiction), and where patients commonly report that they are unable to stop unwanted behaviour.

Models of rodent behaviour allow us to study the neural circuits and chemical signalling that controls the ability to stop inappropriate behaviour. However, it is important that these rodent models can tell us something about human behavioural problems. For this reason, we focus on developing translational behavioural tests that can be used in rats and mice in the laboratory, but which can also be used to test patients in the clinic. This may improve how we develop new treatment strategies for these debilitating mental health problems.

Key Publications

Eagle DM, Noschang C, d'Angelo LS, Noble CA, Day JO, Dongelmans ML, Theobald DE, Mar AC, Urcelay GP, Morein-Zamir S, Robbins TW (2014), “The dopamine D2/D3 receptor agonist quinpirole increases checking-like behaviour in an operant observing response task with uncertain reinforcement: A novel possible model of OCD.” Behav Brain Res 264:207-29 Details

Bari A, Mar AC, Theobald DE, Elands SA, Oganya KC, Eagle DM, Robbins TW (2011), “Prefrontal and monoaminergic contributions to stop-signal task performance in rats.” J Neurosci 31(25):9254-63 Details

Eagle DM, Wong JC, Allan ME, Mar AC, Theobald DE, Robbins TW (2011), “Contrasting Roles for Dopamine D1 and D2 Receptor Subtypes in the Dorsomedial Striatum but Not the Nucleus Accumbens Core during Behavioral Inhibition in the Stop-Signal Task in Rats.” J Neurosci 31(20):7349-56Details

Eagle DM, Baunez C (2010), “Is there an inhibitory-response-control system in the rat? Evidence from anatomical and pharmacological studies of behavioral inhibition.” Neurosci Biobehav Rev 34(1):50-72 Details

Bari A, Eagle DM, Mar AC, Robinson ES, Robbins TW (2009), “Dissociable effects of noradrenaline, dopamine, and serotonin uptake blockade on stop task performance in rats.” Psychopharmacology (Berl) 205(2):273-83 Details

Eagle DM, Lehmann O, Theobald DE, Pena Y, Zakaria R, Ghosh R, Dalley JW, Robbins TW (2009), “Serotonin depletion impairs waiting but not stop-signal reaction time in rats: implications for theories of the role of 5-HT in behavioral inhibition.” Neuropsychopharmacology 34(5):1311-21 Details

Robinson ES, Eagle DM, Economidou D, Theobald DE, Mar AC, Murphy ER, Robbins TW, Dalley JW (2009), “Behavioural characterisation of high impulsivity on the 5-choice serial reaction time task: specific deficits in 'waiting' versus 'stopping'.” Behav Brain Res 196(2):310-6 Details

Eagle DM, Bari A, Robbins TW (2008), “The neuropsychopharmacology of action inhibition: cross-species translation of the stop-signal and go/no-go tasks.” Psychopharmacology (Berl) 199(3):439-56 Details

Eagle DM, Baunez C, Hutcheson DM, Lehmann O, Shah AP, Robbins TW (2008), “Stop-signal reaction-time task performance: role of prefrontal cortex and subthalamic nucleus.” Cereb Cortex 18(1):178-88 Details

Robinson ES, Eagle DM, Mar AC, Bari A, Banerjee G, Jiang X, Dalley JW, Robbins TW (2008), “Similar effects of the selective noradrenaline reuptake inhibitor atomoxetine on three distinct forms of impulsivity in the rat.” Neuropsychopharmacology 33(5):1028-37 Details

Aron AR, Durston S, Eagle DM, Logan GD, Stinear CM, Stuphorn V (2007), “Converging evidence for a fronto-basal-ganglia network for inhibitory control of action and cognition.” J Neurosci 27(44):11860-4 Details

Eagle DM, Tufft MR, Goodchild HL, Robbins TW (2007), “Differential effects of modafinil and methylphenidate on stop-signal reaction time task performance in the rat, and interactions with the dopamine receptor antagonist cis-flupenthixol.” Psychopharmacology (Berl) 192(2):193-206 Details

Winstanley CA, Eagle DM, Robbins TW (2006), “Behavioral models of impulsivity in relation to ADHD: translation between clinical and preclinical studies.” Clin Psychol Rev 26(4):379-95 Details

Eagle DM, Robbins TW (2003), “Inhibitory control in rats performing a stop-signal reaction-time task: effects of lesions of the medial striatum and d-amphetamine.” Behav Neurosci 117(6):1302-17 Details