Pinpointing motivational dysfunction in ageing brains

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Identifying what neural elements are the first to manifest decaying motivational function in the brain: Pinpointing susceptible neural circuitry allows the design of strategies to support enduring brain function in advanced aged.

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Competitive advantage

  • Combination of new genetic technology with behavioural intervention drawn from associative learning theory
  • World-leading expertise in anatomy and physiology of neural systems supporting motivated behaviour
  • Development of novel methods for large-scale functional mapping of specific circuits in the brain engaged during motivational tasks


  • Prevention of motivational and cognitive decline by identifying malfunctioning circuitry at early stages of ageing
  • Establishment of efficient intervention by temporally and spatially retargeting available pharmacology to vulnerable brain circuitry

Successful Outcomes

  • Identification of vulnerable circuitry specifically responsible for re-learning deficits in ageing
  • Determination of neural bases underpinning age-related temporal dysfunction during motivated action

Capabilities and facilities

  • High-throughput spinning-disk confocal microscopy for functional mapping of neural circuits
  • Access to pre-clinical models of ageing and circuit-specific dysfunction
  • Extensive facilities for neural targeting and behavioural evaluation

Our partners

  • Decision Neuroscience Laboratory