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Dr Jeff Dalley

Dr Jeff Dalley

Reader in Behavioural and Molecular Neuroscience

Fellow and Director of Studies in Psychology and Neuroscience, St Catharine's College

Office Phone: +44 (0)1223 765291


B.Pharm (Hons) Otago University, NZ

Ph.D, University College London, UK

Departments and Institutes


Research Interests

Our lab uses a range of convergent neurobiological techniques to specify brain circuits and neuropharmacological mechanisms underlying failures in response inhibitory control. We are especially interested in understanding the neural substrates of 'waiting', 'risk-based' and 'stopping' forms of impulsivity and how these and other 'traits' causally determine individual vulnerability for drug abuse and addiction.  Fundamental to our work is the development and application of state-of-the-art imaging, recording, and intervention-based technologies (MRI, MRS, PET, in-vivo high-density electrophysiology, opto/chemo-genetics, psychopharmacology) to map with greater precision the cellular and molecular processes that predispose individuals to addiction.   

Key Publications

Donnelly NA, Paulsen O, Robbins TW and Dalley JW (2015) Ramping single unit activity in the medial prefrontal cortex and ventral striatum reflects the onset of waiting but not imminent impulsive actions. Eur J Neurosci 41: 1524-1537.

Caprioli D, Jupp B, Hong YT, Sawiak SJ, Ferrari V, Williamson DJ, McNabb C, Aigbirhio FI, Everitt BJ, Robbins TW, Fryer TD and Dalley JW (2015) Dissociable rate-dependent effects of oral methyphenidate on impulsivity and D2/3 receptor availability in the striatum. J. Neurosci 35: 3747-3755.

Barlow RL, Alsiö J, Jupp B, Rabinovich R, Shrestha S, Roberts AC, Robbins TW and Dalley JW (2015) Markers of serotonergic function in the orbitofrontal cortex and dorsal raphé nucleus predict individual variation in spatial-discrimination serial reversal learning. Neuropsychopharmacology 40: 1619-1630.

Jupp B and Dalley JW (2014) Convergent pharmacological mechanisms in impulsivity and addiction: insights from rodent models. Br J. Pharmacol 171: 4729-4766.

Caprioli D, Sawiak SJ, Merlo E, TheobaldDE, Spoelder M, Jupp B, Voon V, Carpenter TA, Everitt BJ, Robbins TW and Dalley JW (2014) GABA-ergic and neuronal structural markers in the nucleus accumbens core underlie trait-like impulsive behavior. Biol Psychiatry 75: 115-123.

Economidou D, TheobaldDE, Robbins TW, Everitt BJ and Dalley JW (2012) Norepinephrine and dopamine modulate impulsivity on the five-choice serial reaction time task through opponent actions in the shell and core sub-regions of the nucleus accumbens. Neuropsychopharmacology 37: 2057-2066.

Roiser JP and Dalley JW (2012) Dopamine, 5-HT and impulsivity. Neuroscience 215: 42-58.

Dalley JW, Everitt BJ and Robbins TW (2011) Impulsivity, compulsivity, and top-down cognitive control. Neuron 69(4): 680-94.

Fernando ABP, Economidou D, Theobald DE, Zou M-F, Newman AH, Spoelder M, Caprioli D, Moreno M, Hipolito L, Aspinall AT, Robbins TW and Dalley JW (2011) Modulation of high impulsivity and attentional performance in rats by selective direct and indirect dopaminergic and noradrenergic receptor agonists. Psychopharmacology 219: 341-352.

Voon V and Dalley JW (2011) Intertemporal choice: Parkinson’s disease and chronic dopaminergic medication. Nature Review Neurology 7: 541-542.

Besson M, Belin D, McNamara R, Theobald DEH, Castel A, Beckett VL, Crittenden BM, Newman AH, Everitt BJ, Robbins TW and Dalley JW (2010) Dissociable control of impulsivity by dopamine D2/3 receptors in the core and shell sub-regions of the rat nucleus accumbens. Neuropsychopharmacology 35: 560-569.

Belin D, Mar AC, Dalley JW, Robbins TW and Everitt BJ (2008) High impulsivity predicts the switch to compulsive cocaine-taking. Science 320: 1352-1355.

Dalley JW, Fryer TD, Brichard L, Robinson ESJ, Theobald DEH, Lääne K, Pena Y, Murphy ER, Shah Y, Probst K, Abakumova I, Aigbirhio FI, Richards HK, Hong Y, Baron J-C, Everitt BJ and Robbins TW (2007) Nucleus accumbens D2/3 receptors predict trait impulsivity and cocaine reinforcement. Science 315(5816): 1267-1270.