The Addiction research group investigate the cognitive, biological and social processes involved in addiction, with a focus on problem drinking and cigarette smoking. We study alcohol problems across the lifespan, from the development of alcohol problems in youth to recovery from alcohol dependence in older adults. Our research takes place in specialized facilities on campus including the bar lab, eye movement laboratory, and EEG lab, as well as within treatment services in the North West and beyond. We have well-established research links with alcohol treatment services, and our work has been funded by ESRC, MRC, and the Wellcome Trust, amongst other organizations. You can read about our latest research findings here.

We perform laboratory based research, examining basic processes involved in addiction and motivation.  We also evaluate interventions for addiction problems, from initial ‘proof of principle’ studies to clinical trials.  We conduct pharmacological challenge studies, explore the brain mechanisms of addiction and investigate the effects of environmental and social factors on addictive behaviour.

Key Projects

  • UK Centre for Tobacco and Alcohol Studies (Medical Research Council, 2013-2018)
  • State disinhibition and heavy drinking (Medical Research Council, 2012-2015)
  • Motivational ambivalence and alcohol abuse (Wellcome Trust, 2010-2013)
  • Alcohol seeking and consumption: the role of reward valuation and attentional bias (Economic and Social Research Council, 2011-2012)
  • Inhibitory control and cue salience in alcohol abuse (Medical Research Council, 2007-2010)