welcome to the parker lab!


We are very excited that our new aquarium facility is ready!

about us

The Parker Lab was established in 2015, and is based at the University of Portsmouth. 

what we do

In the Parker lab, we adopt a ‘bench to bedside’ approach to study the basis of compulsive behavioural disorders. In our basic research, we use zebrafish as a model species try to understand the biology of compulsive disorders. In particular, we want to understand more about the interaction between molecular (genetic/epigenetic) and environmental (e.g., alcohol, stress) factors that cause compulsive behaviours, and the associated neural circuits, to manifest. Our approach is theoretically guided by the principle that understanding the biology of neuropsychiatric conditions will help develop more effective treatments for patients. This work involves significant amounts of method development, owing to the paucity of validated, reliable measure in zebrafish. We also carry out preclinical/translational research in humans, in particular looking at the interactions of impulsivity/compulsivity and stress on addiction and relapse. In our clinical research, we apply our findings in the laboratory to test important clinical questions relating to compulsive disorders, such as addiction and relapse (in humans) and stereotypic behaviours in domestic, farm and laboratory animals. 

our research falls into three programmatic streams:

 

1) Basic neural and behavioural biology of impulsive/compulsive disorders.

 

2) Stereotypic (compulsive, repetitive) behaviour in captive/domestic animals.

 

3) The effects of drugs (e.g., alcohol) during early brain development on behaviour and cognition.


Mind & Brain News -- ScienceDaily

Potential brain-machine interface for hand paralysis (Mon, 15 Jan 2018)
A brain-machine interface that combines brain stimulation with a robotic device controlling hand movement increases the output of pathways connecting the brain and spinal cord, according to a study of healthy adults. This work could have implications for restoring function in stroke patients with hand paralysis.
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Impact of relatedness on grandmothers’ desire to care for their grandchildren (Mon, 15 Jan 2018)
Historically, grandmothers have been important to their grandchildren, and the help provided by grandmothers has increased grandchild survival during the times of high child mortality. However, there have been signs that in many populations, the impact of maternal grandmothers and paternal grandmothers on their grandchildren has been different. A recent study shows that X-chromosome relatedness between grandmothers and their grandchildren did not affect grandchild survival in the 18th and 19th century Finland.
>> Read More