Paul Faulkner

Paul Faulkner graduated with a 1st class degree in Psychology from the University of Sheffield in 2005, before obtaining an MSc in Neuroscience from King’s College London, and his PhD in Clinical Neuroscience from the University College London (UCL) in 2013. The title of his PhD thesis was ‘Serotonin, Decision-Making and Mood’, and included studies examining the role of altered levels of serotonin upon facets of decision-making (both impulsive and non-impulsive) thought to be dysfunctional in depression, including sequential decision-making, response inhibition, delay discounting and risky decision-making/gambling behaviors. During these studies he examined both unipolar depressed subjects and healthy controls, and utilized techniques including fMRI and PET imaging, behavioural tasks, computational modeling, genetic expression analyses, and administration of both MDMA and acute tryptophan depletion.

Paul moved to the Semel Institute at the University California, Los Angeles (UCLA) as a postdoctoral researcher at the start of 2014 to work with Prof. Edythe London. His work here continues his use of neuroimaging and decision-making tasks in a psychiatric population, but this time pertains to the examination of the effects of reducing the amount of nicotine in cigarettes upon craving, withdrawal and mood, along with measures of impulsive decision-making, and both structural and functional brain measures (including both resting state and task-related BOLD responses).


Selvaraj, S, Turkheimer, F, Rosso, L, Faulkner, P, Mouchlianitis, E, Roiser, J. P, McGuire, P, Cowen, P. J & Howes, O. (2012). Measuring Endogenous changes in Serotonergic Neurotransmission in Humans. Molecular Psychiatry

Selvaraj, S, Faulkner, P, Mouchlianitis, E, Roiser, J, P, & Howes, O (2012). Effects of citalopram on serotonergic neurotransmission. Molecular Psychiatry

Faulkner, P, Selvaraj, S, Pine, A, Howes, O & Roiser, J, P (2014). The role of the 5-HT1A receptor in decision-making as shown by PET. Psychopharmacology

Selvaraj, S, Mouchlianitis, E, Faulkner, P, Turkheimer, F, Cowen, P. J, Roiser, J. P & Howes, O. (2014). Serotonergic regulation of emotional processing: The influence of serotonin 1A receptor availability on amygdala response and connectivity within the anterior cingulate. Biological Psychiatry

Faulkner, P, & Deakin, J., F.,W. (2014). The role of serotonin in reward, punishment and behavioural inhibition in humans: insights from studies with acute tryptophan depletion. Neuroscience and Biobehavioral Reviews

Garrett, N, Sharot, T, Faulkner, P, Korn, C, K, Roiser J, P, & Dolan, R. (2014). Losing the rose-tinted glasses: neural substrates of unbiased belief formation in depression. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience