Professor Dolan, of the University College London (UCL) Institute of Neurology and director of the Wellcome Trust Centre for Neuroimaging, is one of the pioneers of modern neurobehavioural research, which uses neuroimaging to examine high-level cognitive processes in the brain. His own area of research is the study of emotion. Together with colleagues in Germany, he is going to use the prize money to investigate the neurochemical mechanisms underlying emotional learning and decision making in humans.

The Max Planck Research Award (the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation and the Max Planck Society International Research Award) is funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research. It sponsors German and foreign academics from disciplines of particular relevance to the future. The award is granted to one researcher working in Germany and one working abroad who have already achieved international recognition and who are expected to continue producing outstanding academic achievements in international collaboration.

“This award provides a unique opportunity for us to commit major resources to develop an understanding of how neurochemical systems, for example brain dopamine, regulate emotion and decision making,” said Professor Dolan. “This is an area of research that is tremendously exciting at present and where there is a convergence of cross-disciplinary interest involving mathematicians, behavioural economists and cognitive neuroscientists among others. Understanding how neurochemical systems regulate cognition is key to developing treatments for devastating brain disorders such as Parkinson’s disease and schizophrenia."

MEDICA.de; Source: University College London