25 April 2012, 12.30 pm
Oakfield House, Room OS6
Depression affects more than 10% of people in the UK yet we still do not understand its underlying pathology, how antidepressant treatments work to improve mood and why up many patients fail to respond to medication. Recent developments in clinical research suggest that negative biases in cognition and emotional processing have a central role in the causation of depression. It is also hypothesised that these cognitive processes are a key site of action for antidepressant drugs. Studying these processes in non-human species offers a means to understand them and develop new treatments to address issues such as efficacy and delayed onset of action. This lecture will describe our work developing translational rat models of cognitive affective behaviour. I will also discuss how we have used pharmacological and psychosocial manipulations of affective state to test the validity of the methods. The final part of the lecture will focus on how we have been able to use these approaches to test novel hypotheses about the mechanisms of action and rate of onset of antidepressant drugs.