Dr David Belin

David Belin

University position


Dr David Belin is pleased to consider applications from prospective PhD students.


Department of Psychology


Behavioural and Clinical Neuroscience Institute



Research Themes

Cognitive and Behavioural Neuroscience

Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience


Our research is interested in the neural, cellular and molecular substrates of inter-individual vulnerability to develop impulsive/compulsive disorders such as drug addiction, Obsessive / Compulsive Disorder, Tourette’s syndrome, pathological gambling or dopamine dysregulation syndrome in Parkinson Disease.

Our working hypothesis is that impulses, originating from the amygdalo-insular networks can drive the behavior through explicit knowledge involving prefrontal and orbitofrontal loops or implicit mechanisms that instead depend upon the functional relationships of these structures with several domains of the striatum.

We suggest that inter-individual vulnerability to develop impulsive/compulsive neuropsychiatric disorders stem from aberrant plasticity processes within the corticostriatal networks governing the translation of impulses into actions that ultimately result in a so-called abnormal incentive habit process.

Research Focus






corticostriatal circuitry

Clinical conditions


Obsessive compulsive disorder

Parkinson's disease

Tourette's syndrome


Behavioural analysis


in situ hybridization


western blot



Jeffrey Dalley

Barry Everitt


Antonello Bonci

Sebastien Carnicella

Jean-Luc Houeto

Eric Nestler

Associated News Items

Key publications

Jennifer E Murray, Aude Belin-Rauscent, Marine Simon, Chiara Giuliano, Marianne Benoit-Marand, Barry J Everitt, David Belin (2015), “Basolateral and central amygdala differentially recruit and maintain dorsolateral striatum-dependent cocaine-seeking habits” Nature communications 6, 10088



A Belin-Rauscent, J Lacoste, O Hermine, A Moussy, BJ Everitt, D Belin (2018), “Decrease of cocaine, but not heroin, self-administration and relapse by the tyrosine kinase inhibitor masitinib in male Sprague Dawley rats” Psychpharmacology 235 (5) 1545-1556

BJ Everitt, C Giuliano, D Belin (2018), “Addictive behaviour in experimental animals: prospects for translation” Phil. Trans. R. Soc. B 373 (1742), 20170027

Chiara Giuliano, Yolanda Peña-Oliver, Charles R Goodlett, Rudolf N Cardinal, Trevor W Robbins, Edward T Bullmore, David Belin, Barry J Everitt (2018), “Evidence for a long-lasting compulsive alcohol seeking phenotype in rats” Neuropsychopharmacology 43 (4), 728

R Hodebourg, JE Murray, M Fouyssac, M Puaud, BJ Everitt, D Belin (2018), “Heroin seeking becomes dependent on dorsal striatal dopaminergic mechanisms and can be decreased by N?acetylcysteine” European Journal of Neuroscience doi:10.1111/ejn.13894


JY Rotge, PJ Cocker, ML Daniel, A Belin-Rauscent, BJ Everitt, D Belin (2017), “Bidirectional regulation over the development and expression of loss of control over cocaine intake by the anterior insula” Psychopharmacology 234 (9-10), 1623-1631

M Fouyssac, BJ Everitt, D Belin (2017), “Cellular basis of the intrastriatal functional shifts that underlie the development of habits: relevance for drug addiction” Current opinion in behavioral sciences 13, 144-151

ML Daniel, PJ Cocker, J Lacoste, AC Mar, JL Houeto, A Belin?Rauscent, David Belin (2017), “The anterior insula bidirectionally modulates cost?benefit decision?making on a rodent gambling task” European Journal of Neuroscience 46 (10), 2620-2628

Y Bai, D Belin, X Zheng, Z Liu, Y Zhang (2017), “Acute stress worsens the deficits in appetitive behaviors for social and sexual stimuli displayed by rats after long-term withdrawal from morphine” Psychopharmaclogy 234 (11), 1693-1702


A Belin-Rauscent, M Fouyssac, A Bonci, D Belin (2016), “How preclinical models evolved to resemble the diagnostic criteria of drug addiction” Biological psychiatry 79 (1), 39-46

A Belin-Rauscent, ML Daniel, M Puaud, B Jupp, S Sawiak, D Howett, C McKenzie, D Caprioli, M Besson, TW Robbins, BJ Everitt, JW Dalley, D Belin (2016), “Impulsivity is predicted by the thinness of the insular cortex in rats” Molecular psychiatry 21 (4), 445

A Belin-Rauscent, ML Daniel, M Puaud, B Jupp, S Sawiak, D Howett, C McKenzie, D Caprioli, M Besson, TW Robbins, BJ Everitt, JW Dalley, D Belin (2016), “From impulses to maladaptive actions: the insula is a neurobiological gate for the development of compulsive behavior” Molecular psychiatry 21 (4), 491

D Belin, A Belin?Rauscent, BJ Everitt, JW Dalley (2016), “In search of predictive endophenotypes in addiction: insights from preclinical research” Genes, Brain and Behavior 15 (1), 74-88

D Belin, A Rolls (2016), “Collaboration in neuroscience: the young PI perspective” European Journal of Neuroscience 43 (9), 1123-1127

D Belin, RT Karadottir (2016), “Writing a constructive peer review: a young PI perspective” European Journal of Neuroscience 44 (11), 2873-2876

Eric Ducret, Mickaël Puaud, Jérôme Lacoste, Aude Belin-Rauscent, Maxime Fouyssac, Emilie Dugast, Jennifer E Murray, Barry J Everitt, Jean-Luc Houeto, David Belin (2016), “N-acetylcysteine facilitates self-imposed abstinence after escalation of cocaine intake” Biological psychiatry 80 (3), 226-234

JL Houeto, R Magnard, JW Dalley, D Belin, S Carnicella (2016), “trait impulsivity and anhedonia: two Gateways for the development of impulse Control disorders in parkinson’s disease?” Frontiers in psychiatry 7, 91

M Engeln, S Ansquer, E Dugast, E Bezard, D Belin, PO Fernagut (2016), “Multi-facetted impulsivity following nigral degeneration and dopamine replacement therapy” Neuropharmacology 109, 69-77

P Poirazi, D Belin, J Gräff, IL Hanganu?Opatz, G López?Bendito (2016), “Balancing family with a successful career in neuroscience” European Journal of Neuroscience 44 (2), 1797-1803


Belin-Rauscent A, Fouyssac M, Bonci A, Belin D (2015), “How Preclinical Models Evolved to Resemble the Diagnostic Criteria of Drug Addiction.” Biol Psychiatry Details

Brunault P, Salamé E, Jaafari N, Courtois R, Réveillère C, Silvain C, Benyamina A, Blecha L, Belin D, Ballon N (2015), “Why do liver transplant patients so often become obese? The addiction transfer hypothesis.” Med Hypotheses 85(1):68-75 Details

Giuliano C, Goodlett CR, Economidou D, García-Pardo MP, Belin D, Robbins TW, Bullmore ET, Everitt BJ (2015), “The Novel ?-Opioid Receptor Antagonist GSK1521498 Decreases both Alcohol Seeking and Drinking: Evidence from a New Preclinical Model of Alcohol Seeking.” Neuropsychopharmacology Details

Moreira FA, Jupp B, Belin D, Dalley JW (2015), “Endocannabinoids and striatal function: implications for addiction-related behaviours.” Behav Pharmacol 26(1-2):59-72 Details

Vanhille N, Belin-Rauscent A, Mar AC, Ducret E, Belin D (2015), “High locomotor reactivity to novelty is associated with an increased propensity to choose saccharin over cocaine: new insights into the vulnerability to addiction.” Neuropsychopharmacology 40(3):577-89 Details


Ansquer S, Belin-Rauscent A, Dugast E, Duran T, Benatru I, Mar AC, Houeto JL, Belin D (2014), “Atomoxetine decreases vulnerability to develop compulsivity in high impulsive rats.” Biol Psychiatry 75(10):825-32 Details

Murray JE, Dilleen R, Pelloux Y, Economidou D, Dalley JW, Belin D, Everitt BJ (2014), “Increased impulsivity retards the transition to dorsolateral striatal dopamine control of cocaine seeking.” Biol Psychiatry 76(1):15-22 Details


Belin D, Belin-Rauscent A, Murray JE, Everitt BJ (2013), “Addiction: failure of control over maladaptive incentive habits.” Curr Opin Neurobiol 23(4):564-72 Details

Besson M, Pelloux Y, Dilleen R, Theobald DE, Lyon A, Belin-Rauscent A, Robbins TW, Dalley JW, Everitt BJ, Belin D (2013), “Cocaine modulation of frontostriatal expression of Zif268, D2, and 5-HT2c receptors in high and low impulsive rats.” Neuropsychopharmacology 38(10):1963-73 Details


Belin D, Deroche-Gamonet V (2012), “Responses to novelty and vulnerability to cocaine addiction: contribution of a multi-symptomatic animal model.” Cold Spring Harb Perspect Med 2(11) Details

Belin-Rauscent A, Everitt BJ, Belin D (2012), “Intrastriatal shifts mediate the transition from drug-seeking actions to habits.” Biol Psychiatry 72(5):343-5 Details

Dilleen R, Pelloux Y, Mar AC, Molander A, Robbins TW, Everitt BJ, Dalley JW, Belin D (2012), “High anxiety is a predisposing endophenotype for loss of control over cocaine, but not heroin, self-administration in rats.” Psychopharmacology (Berl) 222(1):89-97 Details

Jaafari N, Rachid F, Rotge JY, Polosan M, El-Hage W, Belin D, Vibert N, Pelissolo A (2012), “Safety and efficacy of repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation in the treatment of obsessive-compulsive disorder: a review.” World J Biol Psychiatry 13(3):164-77 Details

Murray JE, Belin D, Everitt BJ (2012), “Double dissociation of the dorsomedial and dorsolateral striatal control over the acquisition and performance of cocaine seeking.” Neuropsychopharmacology 37(11):2456-66 Details

Murray JE, Everitt BJ, Belin D (2012), “N-Acetylcysteine reduces early- and late-stage cocaine seeking without affecting cocaine taking in rats.” Addict Biol 17(2):437-40 Details


Badiani A, Belin D, Epstein D, Calu D, Shaham Y (2011), “Opiate versus psychostimulant addiction: the differences do matter.” Nat Rev Neurosci 12(11):685-700 Details

Belin D, Berson N, Balado E, Piazza PV, Deroche-Gamonet V (2011), “High-novelty-preference rats are predisposed to compulsive cocaine self-administration.” Neuropsychopharmacology 36(3):569-79 Details

Molander AC, Mar A, Norbury A, Steventon S, Moreno M, Caprioli D, Theobald DE, Belin D, Everitt BJ, Robbins TW, Dalley JW (2011), “High impulsivity predicting vulnerability to cocaine addiction in rats: some relationship with novelty preference but not novelty reactivity, anxiety or stress.” Psychopharmacology (Berl) 215(4):721-31 Details


Besson M, Belin D, McNamara R, Theobald DE, Castel A, Beckett VL, Crittenden BM, Newman AH, Everitt BJ, Robbins TW, Dalley JW (2010), “Dissociable control of impulsivity in rats by dopamine d2/3 receptors in the core and shell subregions of the nucleus accumbens.” Neuropsychopharmacology 35(2):560-9 Details

McNamara R, Dalley JW, Robbins TW, Everitt BJ, Belin D (2010), “Trait-like impulsivity does not predict escalation of heroin self-administration in the rat.” Psychopharmacology (Berl) 212(4):453-64 Details

Théberge FR, Milton AL, Belin D, Lee JL, Everitt BJ (2010), “The basolateral amygdala and nucleus accumbens core mediate dissociable aspects of drug memory reconsolidation.” Learn Mem 17(9):444-53 Details


Belin D, Balado E, Piazza PV, Deroche-Gamonet V (2009), “Pattern of intake and drug craving predict the development of cocaine addiction-like behavior in rats.” Biol Psychiatry 65(10):863-8 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


Belin D, Everitt BJ (2008), “Cocaine seeking habits depend upon dopamine-dependent serial connectivity linking the ventral with the dorsal striatum.” Neuron 57(3):432-41 Details

Belin D, Mar AC, Dalley JW, Robbins TW, Everitt BJ (2008), “High impulsivity predicts the switch to compulsive cocaine-taking.” Science 320(5881):1352-5 Details

Everitt BJ, Belin D, Economidou D, Pelloux Y, Dalley JW, Robbins TW (2008), “Review. Neural mechanisms underlying the vulnerability to develop compulsive drug-seeking habits and addiction.” Philos Trans R Soc Lond B Biol Sci 363(1507):3125-35 Details


Belin D, Deroche-Gamonet V, Jaber M (2007), “Cocaine-induced sensitization is associated with altered dynamics of transcriptional responses of the dopamine transporter, tyrosine hydroxylase, and dopamine D2 receptors in C57Bl/6J mice.” Psychopharmacology (Berl) 193(4):567-78 Details


Belin D, Rauscent A (2006), “DeltaFosB: a molecular gate to motivational processes within the nucleus accumbens?” J Neurosci 26(46):11809-10 Details


Deroche-Gamonet V, Belin D, Piazza PV (2004), “Evidence for addiction-like behavior in the rat.” Science 305(5686):1014-7 Details


Bezard E, Dovero S, Belin D, Duconger S, Jackson-Lewis V, Przedborski S, Piazza PV, Gross CE, Jaber M (2003), “Enriched environment confers resistance to 1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine and cocaine: involvement of dopamine transporter and trophic factors.” J Neurosci 23(35):10999-1007 Details