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Dr Paul Cocker

Paul Cocker

College Research Associate
SpecialisationBehavioural neuroscience
Research interestsMy research interests are broadly geared towards a better understanding of addictive disorders. Specifically, I am interested in the role of the insular cortex in contributing to the formation and maintenance of drug addiction. Interest in the insula as a key node in addiction circuitry arose following the observation that patients who sustained damage to their insula were able to immediately quite smoking. Additionally, both human and animal studies have suggested a role for the insula in substance and behavioural addictions, putatively through mediating interoceptive responses to addiction-related cues. My post-doctoral research at Cambridge, working in Dr. David Belin’s lab, uses chemogenetic techniques to elucidate the neural circuitry through which the insula contributes to addiction-related behaviours in animal models of cocaine self-administration.