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Inhibition and Excitation in the brain

School of Psychology & Clinical Language Sciences

Applications accepted all year round Self-Funded PhD Students Only

About the Project

An appropriate balance between excitatory and inhibitory neural processes in the brain underlies healthy psychological function. Two examples of conditions in which there is an imbalance are autism and ADHD. In these two cases there is a realtive lack of GABA, which is the main neurotransmitter underlying the inhibitory side of the balance. There is also some evidence of a simialr imbalance in anxiety disorders. Motivated by these observations, this research project explores ways of increasing the inhibitory (GABAergic) function in the brain. One method of doing this that I have promising pilot data for is dietary supplementation with the precursors of the GABA neurotransmitter – mainly B vitamins. Another potential method is meditation. Levels of GABA in the brain can be approximated using carefully designed behavioural tests, or measured more directly using MRI.Contact

Funding Notes

Degree in psychology (2:1 or higher), or a background in nutrition, or neuroscience .


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