I competed my PhD at Imperial College London, focusing on imaging analysis and methodology, with a particular interest in imaging the nuclei of the human midbrain with high-resolution fMRI. During this time I was a member of both a human imaging lab, and a translational neuroscience lab.
Following my PhD training I joined Luke Clark’s lab at the University of Cambridge, investigating the behavioural and neural correlates of gambling and decision making in both patients with Gambling Disorder, and non-gambling participants. Using fMRI and behavioural tasks we investigated effects including the Gambler’s Fallacy, the near-miss effect, the Illusion of Control, and craving. These projects were funded by the Medical Research Council (UK), and I acted as lead researcher on this grant, eventually becoming Principle Investigator following Luke Clark’s move to UBC.
Now at the Centre for Gambling Research, my research focus has moved from investigating cognitive distortions to looking at the behavioural economics of gambling behaviour. This includes investigating gambling behaviour not just in patients, but also looking at behaviour in regular gamblers who do not gamble problematically. Using this approach, we hope to understand why gambling behaviour can persist in the face of inevitable financial losses, and how decision-making can differ between those people who gamble within their limits, and those that develop a problem.