Dr Gonzalo P. Urcelay

Interests

I am interested in learning theories and the neurobiological substrates of acquired behaviour. I am currently conducting studies to assess the involvement of the prefrontal cortex in the transition from goal-directed to habitual behaviours and its relation to pre-existing traits such as impulsivity. This work has implications for learning theories and also for some forms of psychopathology such as drug addiction.

Research Focus

Keywords

learning

memory

impulsivity

compulsivity

avoidance

Clinical conditions

Addiction

Amnesia

Anxiety disorders

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder

Cognitive impairment

Depressive disorders

Obsessive compulsive disorder

Phobias

Post-traumatic stress disorder

Schizophrenia

Equipment

Behavioural analysis

Computational modelling

Collaborators

Cambridge

Jeffrey Dalley

Anthony Dickinson

Barry Everitt

Anushka Fernando

Claire Gillan

Trevor Robbins

Associated News Items


    Key publications

    Gillan CM, Apergis-Schoute AM, Morein-Zamir S, Urcelay GP, Sule A, Fineberg NA, Sahakian BJ, Robbins TW (2015), “Functional neuroimaging of avoidance habits in obsessive-compulsive disorder.” Am J Psychiatry 172(3):284-93 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

    Gillan CM, Morein-Zamir S, Urcelay GP, Sule A, Voon V, Apergis-Schoute AM, Fineberg NA, Sahakian BJ, Robbins TW (2014), “Enhanced avoidance habits in obsessive-compulsive disorder.” Biol Psychiatry 75(8):631-8 Details

    Urcelay GP, Miller RR (2014), “The functions of contexts in associative learning.” Behav Processes 104C:2-12 Details

    Fernando AB, Urcelay GP, Mar AC, Dickinson A, Robbins TW (2013), “The Role of the Nucleus Accumbens Shell in the Mediation of the Reinforcing Properties of a Safety Signal in Free-Operant Avoidance: Dopamine-Dependent Inhibitory Effects of d-Amphetamine.” Neuropsychopharmacology Details

    PiƱeyro ME, Ferrer Monti RI, Alfei JM, Bueno AM, Urcelay GP (2013), “Memory destabilization is critical for the success of the reactivation-extinction procedure.” Learn Mem 21(1):46-54 Details

    Urcelay GP (2012), “Exposure techniques: The role of extinction learning.” P. Neudeck & HU Wittchen (Eds). Exposure Therapy: Rethinking the Model - Refining the Method. Springer

    Urcelay GP, Dalley JW (2011), “Linking ADHD, Impulsivity, and Drug Abuse: A Neuropsychological Perspective.” Curr Top Behav Neurosci Details

    Urcelay GP, Miller RR (2010), “Two roles of the context in Pavlovian fear conditioning.” J Exp Psychol Anim Behav Process 36(2):268-80 Details

    Urcelay GP, Miller RR (2009), “Potentiation and overshadowing in Pavlovian fear conditioning.” J Exp Psychol Anim Behav Process 35(3):340-56 Details

    Publications

    2015

    Fernando AB, Mar AC, Urcelay GP, Dickinson A, Robbins TW (2015), “Avoidance behavior: a free-operant lever-press avoidance task for the assessment of the effects of safety signals.” Curr Protoc Neurosci 70:8.32.1-8.32.12 Details

    2014

    Eagle DM, Noschang C, d'Angelo LS, Noble CA, Day JO, Dongelmans ML, Theobald DE, Mar AC, Urcelay GP, Morein-Zamir S, Robbins TW (2014), “The dopamine D2/D3 receptor agonist quinpirole increases checking-like behaviour in an operant observing response task with uncertain reinforcement: a novel possible model of OCD.” Behav Brain Res 264:207-29 Details

    Witnauer JE, Urcelay GP, Miller RR (2014), “The error in total error reduction.” Neurobiol Learn Mem 108:119-35 Details

    2013

    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

    2012

    Urcelay GP, Witnauer JE, Miller RR (2012), “The dual role of the context in postpeak performance decrements resulting from extended training.” Learn Behav 40(4):476-93 Details

    2011

    Murphy ER, Fernando AB, Urcelay GP, Robinson ES, Mar AC, Theobald DE, Dalley JW, Robbins TW (2011), “Impulsive behaviour induced by both NMDA receptor antagonism and GABA(A) receptor activation in rat ventromedial prefrontal cortex.” Psychopharmacology (Berl) Details

    2010

    Molet M, Urcelay GP, Miguez G, Miller RR (2010), “Using context to resolve temporal ambiguity.” J Exp Psychol Anim Behav Process 36(1):126-36 Details

    Orinstein AJ, Urcelay GP, Miller RR (2010), “Expanding the intertrial interval during extinction: response cessation and recovery.” Behav Ther 41(1):14-29 Details

    Urcelay GP, Miller RR (2010), “On the generality and limits of abstraction in rats and humans.” Anim Cogn 13(1):21-32 Details

    2009

    McConnell BL, Wheeler DS, Urcelay GP, Miller RR (2009), “Protection from latent inhibition provided by a conditioned inhibitor.” J Exp Psychol Anim Behav Process 35(4):498-508 Details

    Sissons HT, Urcelay GP, Miller RR (2009), “Overshadowing and CS duration: Counteraction and a reexamination of the role of within-compound associations in cue competition.” Learn Behav 37(3):254-68 Details

    Urcelay GP, Lipatova O, Miller RR (2009), “Constraints on Enhanced Extinction Resulting from Extinction Treatment in the Presence of an Added Excitor.” Learn Motiv 40(4):343-363 Details

    Urcelay GP, Wheeler DS, Miller RR (2009), “Spacing extinction trials alleviates renewal and spontaneous recovery.” Learn Behav 37(1):60-73 Details

    Witnauer JE, Urcelay GP, Miller RR (2009), “A One-System Theory Which is Not Propositional.” Behavioral and Brain Sciences. 32(02):228-229

    2008

    Urcelay GP, Miller RR (2008), “Counteraction between two kinds of conditioned inhibition training.” Psychon Bull Rev 15(1):103-7 Details

    Urcelay GP, Miller RR (2008), “Retrieval from memory.” Learning theory and behavior, R. Menzel, Ed., Vol. 1 (pp. 53-74) of Learning and memory - A comprehensive reference, J.H. Byrne, Ed-in-Chief. Oxford, UK: Elsevier.

    Urcelay GP, Perelmuter O, Miller RR (2008), “Pavlovian backward conditioned inhibition in humans: summation and retardation tests.” Behav Processes 77(3):299-305 Details

    Witnauer JE, Urcelay GP, Miller RR (2008), “Reduced blocking as a result of increasing the number of blocking cues.” Psychon Bull Rev 15(3):651-5 Details

    2007

    Miller SS, Urcelay GP (2007), “The central amygdala joins the lateral amygdala in the fear memory party.” J Neurosci 27(9):2151-2 Details

    2006

    Urcelay GP, Miller RR (2006), “A comparator view of Pavlovian and differential inhibition.” J Exp Psychol Anim Behav Process 32(3):271-83 Details

    Urcelay GP, Miller RR (2006), “Counteraction between overshadowing and degraded contingency treatments: support for the extended comparator hypothesis.” J Exp Psychol Anim Behav Process 32(1):21-32 Details