An important focus of the Neuroscience and Psychiatry Unit (NPU) is to use modern imaging techniques to directly visualise 5HT and glutamate working in the brain. Patients and volunteers lie in a magnetic resonance imaging scanner and the images show which parts of the brain respond to drugs chosen to probe 5HT or glutamate functioning and how it performs mental tasks. The group can show, for example, that a single dose of an antidepressant drug lights up areas of the brain concerned with anxiety responses and turns off other areas concerned with memory in healthy volunteers.

Research issues

  • Are isolated psychotic symptoms in the community part of an extended phenotype with 'prodromal' psychosis and full psychosis?
  • What risk and protective factors govern progression?
  • How do drug and non-drug treatments interact in psychosis, particularly early psychosis?
  • What are the neuropsychological and psychological causes of poor insight in psychosis?
  • How can we use this knowledge to treat poor insight and improve function?

Early psychosis

The Early Psychosis Research Group aims to:

  • Understand better risk factors for onset and predictors of outcome (social, psychological and biological) in first episode psychosis
  • Translate these mechanisms into clinical of new drug, non drug and service level interventions that are aimed at preventing adverse outcomes, such as relapse and progressive functional and cognitive impairment 


Name Job title Email address
Richard Drake Senior Lecturer
Shôn Lewis Professor of Adult Psychiatry
Max Marshall Professor of Community Psychiatry