Behavioural Neuroscience Laboratory
Head of laboratory
Professor Bernard Balleine’s research aims to understand the neural bases of the learning and motivational processes that control volitional (or goal-directed) action. Such research has direct bearing on our developing understanding of the role that cognitive and emotional systems integration plays in executive functions and decision-making.
Dysfunction of this integrative capacity accompanies:
- Major psychiatric conditions
- Neurodegenerative disorders
- Drug addiction, and
Together they constitute the highest health, economic and social capital attrition burden to Australia of any disease group, a burden that is only predicted to increase as the population ages.
Understanding the changes in neural systems that accompany these disorders and their specific psychological and behavioural effects is, therefore, of critical importance and will ultimately provide new targets for treatment and rehabilitation.