Recent advances in neuroscience have helped scientists understand how various drugs that are used to treat mental illness normalize circuit activity in the brain. But there is a lot more that we need to understand.
Dr. Jonathan Britt, Canada Research Chair in Behavioural Neuroscience, is trying to determine how dopamine signalling affects the main output pathways of the brain’s striatum. He and his research team are examining how these pathways help people choose what to focus on appropriately—an ability that is dysregulated in those who struggle with psychosis, compulsions and depression. They are studying these brain circuit dynamics to understand how they differ in health and disease in order to support ongoing efforts to develop circuit-based treatments.