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Department of Physiology, Development and Neuroscience


Cambridge has a strong tradition in neuroscience. We have hosted the first analysis of neural signalling in the 1930s with Bryan Matthews and Lord Edgar Adrian; identified the mechanisms that generate action potential in the 1950s with Alan Hodgkin and Andrew Huxley; and elaborated some of the first theoretical approaches to function in brain circuits since the 1960s. Neuroscience at Cambridge continues to grow and to incorporate new ideas and approaches into diverse research interests.

We have a strong research representation at cellular and molecular level, with groups working on synaptic transmission, local network properties and plasticity in local neural circuits, aspects of molecular signalling and transduction of sensory stimulus. Our developmental neurobiologists are also tackling problems associated with how a brain is built.

At neural systems level, we are working onhow sensory systems are able to process and represent information. We are studying the sense of hearing in mammals, auditory analysis, visual processing of information and predation. We are also interested in how the motor systems and neuroendocrine systems function.

At the level of behaviour, we have groups working on aspects of motivation and cognition, like how rewards are preceived and processed in the brain and how emotions can affect or disrupt decision making.



Visualising morphogenetic mechanisms


Neurogenic placodes and the neural crest: development of the vertebrate peripheral sensory nervous system

Beltramo lab

How the brain transforms sensory signals into the neural representations of the outside world that guide our behaviour


Brand lab

Stem cells to synapses: regulation of self-renewal and differentiation in the nervous system


Neural and epidermal development in Drosophila: from signalling to morphogenesis

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Optogenetically probing cell polarity and brain development

Neurochemical and molecular mechanisms underlying memory

Neural circuit reconstruction of Drosophila larva

Neural and neurochemical basis of negative emotional behaviour and their implications for psychiatric disorders

Edgley lab

How information is processed in motor systems

Fleming lab

Zebrafish models of neurodegeneration to investigate how protein clearance pathways affect disease severity

Franze lab

Mechanics in nervous system development and pathology

Galliano lab

Neural network development, plasticity and impact on behaviour

Herbison lab

Properties and functioning of the key neural populations controlling fertility in mammals


Holt lab

Axon guidance in the developing brain

Jones lab

How neuronal communication is disrupted in pathological states that mimic neurological disorders

Keshavarzi lab

Neural mechanisms underlying the sense of self-motion and spatial orientation


Krupic lab

Underlying mechanisms of the brain GPS system

Mason lab

Structure, function and evolution of the vertebrate ear

Matthews lab

Phototransduction and olfactory transduction

Synaptic and network function in cortical development and neurodevelopmental disorders

Parker lab

Neuronal networks and plasticity after recovery from spinal cord injury

Paulsen lab

Cellular basis of information processing in the mammalian brain

Poort lab

Neural mechanisms of visually-guided learning, attention and decision-making

Raffan lab

Underlyng links between genes and obesity in dogs and humans

Roberts lab

Neural circuits underlying the regulation and dysregulation of positive and negative emotion

Robinson lab

Ion channels and neuron dynamics


Schultz lab

Reward processing and economic decisions in the brain

Tamura lab

Circuit physiology of cognition

Winter lab

Primitive neural mechanisms of auditory scene analysis






Other Academics specializing in this area


Richard Dyball


Bill Harris


Roger Hardie


Roger Keynes




Roy Patterson



John Rogers



Roger Thomas