Professor Anthony Dickinson

Anthony Dickinson

University position



Department of Psychology

Research Themes

Cognitive and Behavioural Neuroscience

Developmental Neuroscience


My primary research interests concern learning, memory, motivation, and future planning in both humans and animals. My interest in learning and memory is focussed on the distinction between goal-directed and habitual instrumental behaviour as assess by reinforcer or outcome devaluation procedures. In collaboration with Professor Nicola Clayton, I also study both memory and future planning in food storing birds.

Research Focus







Clinical conditions

No direct clinical relevance


Behavioural analysis


No collaborators listed

Associated News Items

    Key publications

    Valentin VV, Dickinson A, O'Doherty JP (2007), “Determining the Neural Substrates of Goal-Directed Learning in the Human Brain” Journal of Neuroscience 27:4019-4026 Details

    de Wit S, Kosaki Y, Balleine BW, Dickinson A (2006), “Dorsomedial Prefrontal Cortex Resolves Response Conflict in Rats” Journal of Neuroscience 26:5224-5229 Details

    Clayton NS, Bussey TJ, Dickinson A (2003), “Can animals recall the past and plan for the future?” Nature Reviews Neuroscience 4:685-691



    Braver TS, Krug MK, Chiew KS, Kool W, Westbrook JA, Clement NJ, Adcock RA, Barch DM, Botvinick MM, Carver CS, Cools R, Custers R, Dickinson A, Dweck CS, Fishbach A, Gollwitzer PM, Hess TM, Isaacowitz DM, Mather M, Murayama K, Pessoa L, Samanez-Larkin GR, Somerville LH, MOMCAI group (2014), “Mechanisms of motivation-cognition interaction: challenges and opportunities.” Cogn Affect Behav Neurosci 14(2):443-72 Details

    Fernando A, Urcelay G, Mar A, Dickinson A, Robbins T (2014), “Free-operant avoidance behavior by rats after reinforcer revaluation using opioid agonists and D-amphetamine.” J Neurosci 34(18):6286-93 Details


    Corlett PR, Cambridge V, Gardner JM, Piggot JS, Turner DC, Everitt JC, Arana FS, Morgan HL, Milton AL, Lee JL, Aitken MR, Dickinson A, Everitt BJ, Absalom AR, Adapa R, Subramanian N, Taylor JR, Krystal JH, Fletcher PC (2013), “Ketamine effects on memory reconsolidation favor a learning model of delusions.” PLoS One 8(6):e65088 Details

    Fernando AB, Urcelay GP, Mar AC, Dickinson A, Robbins TW (2013), “Comparison of the conditioned reinforcing properties of a safety signal and appetitive stimulus: effects of d-amphetamine and anxiolytics.” Psychopharmacology (Berl) 227(2):195-208 Details


    Dickinson A (2012), “Associative learning and animal cognition.” Philos Trans R Soc Lond B Biol Sci 367(1603):2733-42 Details

    Klossek UM, Dickinson A (2012), “Rational action selection in 1½- to 3-year-olds following an extended training experience.” J Exp Child Psychol 111(2):197-211 Details


    Klossek UM, Yu S, Dickinson A (2011), “Choice and goal-directed behavior in preschool children.” Learn Behav 39(4):350-7 Details

    Moore JW, Dickinson A, Fletcher PC (2011), “Sense of agency, associative learning, and schizotypy.” Conscious Cogn 20(3):792-800 Details


    Jonkman S, Kosaki Y, Everitt BJ, Dickinson A (2010), “The role of contextual conditioning in the effect of reinforcer devaluation on instrumental performance by rats.” Behav Processes 83(3):276-81 Details

    Kosaki Y, Dickinson A (2010), “Choice and contingency in the development of behavioral autonomy during instrumental conditioning.” J Exp Psychol Anim Behav Process 36(3):334-42 Details

    Laane K, Aru J, Dickinson A (2010), “Non-competitive liking for brands. No blocking in evaluative conditioning.” Appetite 54(1):100-7 Details


    Belin D, Jonkman S, Dickinson A, Robbins TW, Everitt BJ (2009), “Parallel and interactive learning processes within the basal ganglia: relevance for the understanding of addiction.” Behav Brain Res 199(1):89-102 Details

    de Wit S, Ostlund SB, Balleine BW, Dickinson A (2009), “Resolution of conflict between goal-directed actions: outcome encoding and neural control processes.” J Exp Psychol Anim Behav Process 35(3):382-93 Details

    Dickinson A (2009), “What are association formation models?” Learn Behav 37(1):21-4; discussion 25-6 Details

    Jonkman S, Mar AC, Dickinson A, Robbins TW, Everitt BJ (2009), “The rat prelimbic cortex mediates inhibitory response control but not the consolidation of instrumental learning.” Behav Neurosci 123(4):875-85 Details

    McCabe JA, Tobler PN, Schultz W, Dickinson A, Lupson V, Fletcher PC (2009), “Appetitive and aversive taste conditioning in a computer game influences real-world decision making and subsequent activation in insular cortex.” J Neurosci 29(4):1046-51 Details


    Klossek UM, Russell J, Dickinson A (2008), “The control of instrumental action following outcome devaluation in young children aged between 1 and 4 years.” J Exp Psychol Gen 137(1):39-51 Details


    Clayton NS, Salwiczek LH, Dickinson A (2007), “Episodic memory.” Curr Biol 17(6):R189-91 Details

    Corlett PR, Murray GK, Honey GD, Aitken MR, Shanks DR, Robbins TW, Bullmore ET, Dickinson A, Fletcher PC (2007), “Disrupted prediction-error signal in psychosis: evidence for an associative account of delusions.” Brain 130(Pt 9):2387-400 Details

    Correia SP, Dickinson A, Clayton NS (2007), “Western scrub-jays anticipate future needs independently of their current motivational state.” Curr Biol 17(10):856-61 Details

    de Kort SR, Correia SP, Alexis DM, Dickinson A, Clayton NS (2007), “The control of food-caching behavior by Western scrub-jays (Aphelocoma californica).” J Exp Psychol Anim Behav Process 33(4):361-70 Details

    de Wit S, Niry D, Wariyar R, Aitken MR, Dickinson A (2007), “Stimulus-outcome interactions during instrumental discrimination learning by rats and humans.” J Exp Psychol Anim Behav Process 33(1):1-11 Details

    Dickinson A, Brown KJ (2007), “Flavor-evaluative conditioning is unaffected by contingency knowledge during training with color-flavor compounds.” Learn Behav 35(1):36-42 Details

    Dickinson A, Sive H (2007), “Positioning the extreme anterior in Xenopus: cement gland, primary mouth and anterior pituitary.” Semin Cell Dev Biol 18(4):525-33 Details

    Pelloux Y, Everitt BJ, Dickinson A (2007), “Compulsive drug seeking by rats under punishment: effects of drug taking history.” Psychopharmacology (Berl) 194(1):127-37 Details

    Raby CR, Alexis DM, Dickinson A, Clayton NS (2007), “Planning for the future by western scrub-jays.” Nature 445(7130):919-21 Details


    Corlett PR, Honey GD, Aitken MR, Dickinson A, Shanks DR, Absalom AR, Lee M, Pomarol-Clotet E, Murray GK, McKenna PJ, Robbins TW, Bullmore ET, Fletcher PC (2006), “Frontal responses during learning predict vulnerability to the psychotogenic effects of ketamine: linking cognition, brain activity, and psychosis.” Arch Gen Psychiatry 63(6):611-21 Details

    Hellemans KG, Dickinson A, Everitt BJ (2006), “Motivational control of heroin seeking by conditioned stimuli associated with withdrawal and heroin taking by rats.” Behav Neurosci 120(1):103-14 Details


    Aitken MR, Dickinson A (2005), “Simulations of a modified SOP model applied to retrospective revaluation of human causal learning.” Learn Behav 33(2):147-59 Details

    Clayton NS, Dally J, Gilbert J, Dickinson A (2005), “Food caching by western scrub-jays (Aphelocoma californica) is sensitive to the conditions at recovery.” J Exp Psychol Anim Behav Process 31(2):115-24 Details

    Lee JL, Dickinson A, Everitt BJ (2005), “Conditioned suppression and freezing as measures of aversive Pavlovian conditioning: effects of discrete amygdala lesions and overtraining.” Behav Brain Res 159(2):221-33 Details


    Corlett PR, Aitken MR, Dickinson A, Shanks DR, Honey GD, Honey RA, Robbins TW, Bullmore ET, Fletcher PC (2004), “Prediction error during retrospective revaluation of causal associations in humans: fMRI evidence in favor of an associative model of learning.” Neuron 44(5):877-88 Details

    Miles FJ, Everitt BJ, Dalley JW, Dickinson A (2004), “Conditioned activity and instrumental reinforcement following long-term oral consumption of cocaine by rats.” Behav Neurosci 118(6):1331-9 Details


    Clayton NS, Bussey TJ, Dickinson A (2003), “Can animals recall the past and plan for the future?” Nat Rev Neurosci 4(8):685-91 Details

    Clayton NS, Yu KS, Dickinson A (2003), “Interacting Cache memories: evidence for flexible memory use by Western Scrub-Jays (Aphelocoma californica).” J Exp Psychol Anim Behav Process 29(1):14-22 Details

    Dickinson A, de Wit S (2003), “The interaction between discriminative stimuli and outcomes during instrumental learning.” Q J Exp Psychol B 56(1):127-39 Details

    Miles FJ, Everitt BJ, Dickinson A (2003), “Oral cocaine seeking by rats: action or habit?” Behav Neurosci 117(5):927-38 Details

    Tobler PN, Dickinson A, Schultz W (2003), “Coding of predicted reward omission by dopamine neurons in a conditioned inhibition paradigm.” J Neurosci 23(32):10402-10 Details


    Dickinson A (2002), “Opposing associationism.” Trends Cogn Sci 6(12):538 Details

    Dickinson A, Wood N, Smith JW (2002), “Alcohol seeking by rats: action or habit?” Q J Exp Psychol B 55(4):331-48 Details


    Aitken MR, Larkin MJ, Dickinson A (2001), “Re-examination of the role of within-compound associations in the retrospective revaluation of causal judgements.” Q J Exp Psychol B 54(1):27-51 Details

    Clayton NS, Griffiths DP, Emery NJ, Dickinson A (2001), “Elements of episodic-like memory in animals.” Philos Trans R Soc Lond B Biol Sci 356(1413):1483-91 Details

    Dickinson A (2001), “The 28th Bartlett Memorial Lecture. Causal learning: an associative analysis.” Q J Exp Psychol B 54(1):3-25 Details

    Everitt BJ, Dickinson A, Robbins TW (2001), “The neuropsychological basis of addictive behaviour.” Brain Res Brain Res Rev 36(2-3):129-38 Details

    Hall J, Parkinson JA, Connor TM, Dickinson A, Everitt BJ (2001), “Involvement of the central nucleus of the amygdala and nucleus accumbens core in mediating Pavlovian influences on instrumental behaviour.” Eur J Neurosci 13(10):1984-92 Details

    Hutcheson DM, Everitt BJ, Robbins TW, Dickinson A (2001), “The role of withdrawal in heroin addiction: enhances reward or promotes avoidance?” Nat Neurosci 4(9):943-7 Details


    Aitken MR, Larkin MJ, Dickinson A (2000), “Super-learning of causal judgements.” Q J Exp Psychol B 53(1):59-81 Details

    Dickinson A, Smith J, Mirenowicz J (2000), “Dissociation of Pavlovian and instrumental incentive learning under dopamine antagonists.” Behav Neurosci 114(3):468-83 Details

    Olmstead MC, Parkinson JA, Miles FJ, Everitt BJ, Dickinson A (2000), “Cocaine-seeking by rats: regulation, reinforcement and activation.” Psychopharmacology (Berl) 152(2):123-31 Details


    Balleine BW, Fletcher N, Dickinson A (1996), “Effect of the 5-HT1A agonist, 8-OH-DPAT on instrumental performance in rats.” Psychopharmacology (Berl) 125(1):79-88 Details

    Dickinson A, Burke J (1996), “Within-compound associations mediate the retrospective revaluation of causality judgements.” Q J Exp Psychol B 49(1):60-80 Details

    Dickinson A, Campos J, Varga ZI, Balleine B (1996), “Bidirectional instrumental conditioning.” Q J Exp Psychol B 49(4):289-306 Details


    Balleine B, Davies A, Dickinson A (1995), “Cholecystokinin attenuates incentive learning in rats.” Behav Neurosci 109(2):312-9 Details

    Balleine B, Gerner C, Dickinson A (1995), “Instrumental outcome devaluation is attenuated by the anti-emetic ondansetron.” Q J Exp Psychol B 48(3):235-51 Details


    Balleine B, Ball J, Dickinson A (1994), “Benzodiazepine-induced outcome revaluation and the motivational control of instrumental action in rats.” Behav Neurosci 108(3):573-89 Details

    Balleine B, Dickinson A (1994), “Role of cholecystokinin in the motivational control of instrumental action in rats.” Behav Neurosci 108(3):590-605 Details

    Killcross AS, Dickinson A, Robbins TW (1994), “Effects of the neuroleptic alpha-flupenthixol on latent inhibition in aversively- and appetitively-motivated paradigms: evidence for dopamine-reinforcer interactions.” Psychopharmacology (Berl) 115(1-2):196-205 Details

    Killcross AS, Dickinson A, Robbins TW (1994), “Amphetamine-induced disruptions of latent inhibition are reinforcer mediated: implications for animal models of schizophrenic attentional dysfunction.” Psychopharmacology (Berl) 115(1-2):185-95 Details


    Balleine B, Dickinson A (1992), “Signalling and incentive processes in instrumental reinforcer devaluation.” Q J Exp Psychol B 45(4):285-301 Details


    Shanks DR, Dickinson A (1991), “Instrumental judgment and performance under variations in action-outcome contingency and contiguity.” Mem Cognit 19(4):353-60 Details


    Dawson GR, Dickinson A (1990), “Performance on ratio and interval schedules with matched reinforcement rates.” Q J Exp Psychol B 42(3):225-39 Details

    Dickinson A, Balleine B (1990), “Motivational control of instrumental performance following a shift from thirst to hunger.” Q J Exp Psychol B 42(4):413-31 Details

    McLaren IP, Dickinson A (1990), “The conditioning connection.” Philos Trans R Soc Lond B Biol Sci 329(1253):179-86 Details