Jonathan Kanen

Jonathan Kanen

University position

PhD student
Supervised by Trevor Robbins


Department of Psychology


Behavioural and Clinical Neuroscience Institute

Home page

Research Theme

Cognitive and Behavioural Neuroscience


I am an MD candidate from the USA and a Gates Cambridge scholar working on my PhD in the Department of Psychology.

The brain chemical serotonin is implicated in a wide range of affective and behavioural processes and is a key drug target in numerous psychiatric disorders, however its exact role is not well understood. Characterizing its function more precisely is therefore an important scientific endeavor. I will investigate the contribution of serotonin in three domains: emotional memory, behavioural flexibility, and processing social information. I have a particular interest in Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder as well as memory reconsolidation.

Research Focus




memory reconsolidation

emotional memory

behavioural flexibility

Clinical conditions

Anxiety disorders


Borderline personality disorder

Depressive disorders

Imposter Syndrome

Obsessive compulsive disorder


Post-traumatic stress disorder


Behavioural analysis

Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)

Neuropsychological testing



Annemieke Apergis-Scoute

Rudolf Cardinal

Trevor Robbins

Barbara Sahakian

Associated News Items



    Kanen JW, Arntz FE, Yellowlees R, Cardinal RN, Price A, Christmas DM, Apergis-Schoute AM, Sahakian BJ, Robbins TW (2019), “Serotonin depletion amplifies distinct human social emotions as a function of individual differences in personality” bioRxiv

    Kanen JW, Ersche KD, Fineberg NA, Robbins TW, Cardinal RN (2019), “Computational modelling reveals contrasting effects on reinforcement learning and cognitive flexibility in stimulant use disorder and obsessive-compulsive disorder: remediating effects of dopaminergic D2/3 receptor agents” Psychopharmacology


    de Voogd LD, Kanen JW, Neville DA, Roelofs K, Fern├índez G, Hermans EJ (2018), “Eye-Movement Intervention Enhances Extinction via Amygdala Deactivation” Journal of Neuroscience


    Hermans EJ, Kanen JW, Tambini A, Fern├índez G, Davachi L, Phelps EA (2016), “Persistence of amygdala-hippocampal connectivity and multi-voxel correlation structures during awake rest after fear learning predicts long-term expression of fear” Cerebral Cortex


    Kanen JW, Nazir R, Sedky K, Pradhan, B (2015), “The effects of mindfulness-based interventions on sleep disturbance: a meta-analysis” Adolescent Psychiatry


    Steinfurth ECK, Kanen JW, Raio CM, Clem R, Huganir R, Phelps EA (2014), “Recent and remote Pavlovian fear memories can be modified with extinction training during reconsolidation in humans” Learning & Memory


    Schiller D, Kanen JW, LeDoux JE, Monfils MH, Phelps EA (2013), “Extinction during reconsolidation of threat memory diminishes prefrontal cortex involvement” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences