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The potential of exercise to treat addictions and OCD

Physical exercise is known to modulate cognitive processing and stimulate neuronal health and neuroplasticity through the release of various neurotrophins. By bolstering the integrity of both grey and white matter, exercise can promote overall brain health and mental health, which is not only important for enhancing cognitive capacities but also for combating harm from a variety of sources. There is also growing interest in emotional influences on cognition, their role in psychopathology, how they can best be measured, and techniques that can modulate them. This PhD will focus on a subset of cognitive process (to be determined by the student), their neurophysiological underpinnings and role in compulsive behaviours (including addictions and obsessive-compulsive disorder), and whether they can be modulated by physical exercise. The successful candidate will be supervised by Prof Murat Yücel and Dr Rebecca Segrave. They will join a world-leading research group with expertise in addictions and OCD, development of novel cognitive testing tools, and running innovative clinical trials. The PhD candidate will have the oppourtunity to develop skills in each of these areas. Please include: - a cover letter with a brief outline (1 page) of your interests and suitability for the research; - a curriculum vitae including academic transcript(s) and any published works; and - names and contact details of 2 academic referees. Note The student must have an RTP/APA or equivalent scholarship awarded in order to be eligible for the top up scholarship (scholarship rounds typically close in May and October for domestic applicants, and March and August for international applicants).
Essential criteria: 
Minimum entry requirements can be found here:
Please forward expressions of interest and direct questions to: Prof Murat Yücel Email:
School of Psychological Sciences
Available options 
Time commitment 
Top-up scholarship funding available 
Year 1: 
Year 2: 
Year 3: 
Year 4: 
Physical location 
Clayton Campus

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