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Plymouth academics named among the UK’s rising research stars

Dr Fouragnan, from the School of Psychology, is Head of the Brain Stimulation Laboratory, one of seven cutting-edge human research laboratories that make up the new Brain Research & Imaging Centre (BRIC).

She will use her Fellowship – which amounts to £880,000 over an initial four years – to work towards a revolutionary new treatment for addiction, having previously shown that low-intensity ultrasound can change decision-making processes in the brain.

Her new project will target ultrasound at extremely specific areas of the brain, using a new approach – transcranial ultrasound neuromodulation – to safely and temporarily alter brain activity at very high resolution.

The aim is to induce ‘plasticity’ in the brain’s reward circuitry, which could mediate some of the maladaptive behaviour and poor decision making seen in addiction.

Through this research, she hopes to bridge the gap between laboratory neuroscience and mental health by providing the first evidence that ultrasound applied to particular brain areas can change the way addicts make decisions.

Read more about Dr Fouragnan’s work

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