Sir Henry Wellcome Post-Doctoral Fellow
New York University and University of Cambridge
Department of Psychology
University of Cambridge
Behavioural and Clinical Neuroscience Institute
MRC Centenary Postdoctoral Fellow, 2012-2013
University of Cambridge
PhD in Psychology, 2012
PhD Supervisor, Dr. Trevor Robbins; Advisor, Dr. Barbara Sahakian
University College Dublin
BA in Psychology (First Class Honors), 2009
Claire was awarded the 2015 BAP Junior Psychopharmacology Award for excellence in psychopharmacology research.
Claire penned this piece about how habits can shape beliefs for New Scientist's Big Ideas:
Why Can't I Stop? (see article)
Claire was listed as one of the top 30 thinkers under 30 in Pacific Standard Magazine (see article)
In January 2017, I will take up a post as Assistant Professor of Psychology at Trinity College Dublin
My research is funded by the Sir Henry Wellcome Postdoctoral Fellowship scheme, and I currently work under the supervision of Professors Elizabeth Phelps and Nathaniel Daw here at NYU, and in collaboration with Professor Trevor Robbins at University of Cambridge. My work is focused on understanding the learning mechanisms and brain structures that support automaticity in human instrumental behavior. In particular, I am interested in how conditioned fear influences the extent to which humans are capable of selecting goal-directed actions, and conversely how individual differences in habit-learning can alter fear learning. I currently use functional magnetic resonance imaging, behavioral experiments and psychophysiology to address these questions. During this fellowship, I also aim to use computational modeling to investigate the role of basic reinforcement learning processes in psychiatry and normal fear conditioning. The ultimate goal of this basic work is to develop an evidence-based, dimensional, framework for understanding a range of psychiatric disorders which are characterized to varying degrees by maladaptive behavior and excessive fear expression.
Gillan, C.M. & Daw, N.D. (in press). Talking psychiatry research online. Neuron
Ersche, K.D., Gillan, C.M., Jones, P.S., Williams, G.B., Luitjen, M., de Wit, S., Ward, L.H.E., Sahakian, B.J., Bullmore, E.T. & Robbins TW (in press). Carrots and sticks fail to change behavior in cocaine addiction. Science.
Gillan, C. M., Kosinski, M., Whelan, R., Phelps, E. A. & Daw, N. D. (2016). Characterizing a psychiatric symptom dimension related to deficits in goal-directed control. eLife, 5:e11305. doi: 10.7554/eLife.11305 see article
Gillan, C. M., Robbins, T.W., Sahakian, B.J., van den Heuvel, O. & van Wingen, G. (2015) The role of habit in compulsivity. European Neuropsychopharmacology, doi:10.1016/j.euroneuro.2015.12.033 see article
Gillan, C. M., Otto, A. R., Phelps, E. A. & Daw, N. D. (2015). Model-based learrning protects against forming habits. Cognitive, Affective and Behavioral Neuroscience, 15(3), 523-36. see article
Gillan, C. M., Sahakian, B. J. (2015). What is the driver, obsessions or compulsions in OCD? Neuropsychopharmacology, 40(1), 247-8. see article
Gillan, C. M., Apergis-Schoute, A., Morein-Zamir, S., Urcelay, G. P., Sule, A., Fineberg, N. A., Sahakian, B. J., Robbins, T. W. (2014). Functional neuroimaging of avoidance habits in OCD. American Journal of Psychiatry, 172(3), 284-93. doi:10.1176/appi.ajp.2014.14040525. see article
Gillan, C. M., Robbins, T. W. (2014). Goal-directed learning and obsessive-compulsive disorder. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B, 5(369), 1655. see article
Voon, V., Derbyshire, K., Ruck, C., Irvine, M. A., Worbe, Y., Enander, J., Schreiber, L. R. N., Gillan, C. M., Fineberg, N. A., Sahakian, B. J., Robbins, T. W., Harrison, N. A., Wood, J., Daw, N. D., dayan, P., grant, J. E., Bullmore, E. T. (2014). Disorders of compulsivity: a common bias towards learning habits. Molecular Psychiatry. doi: 10.1038/mp.2014.44. see article
Gillan, C. M., Morein-Zamir, S., Durieux, A., Fineberg, N. A., Sahakian, B. J., Robbins, T. W. (2014). Obsessive-compulsive disorder patients have a reduced sense of control on the illusion of control task. Frontiers in Psychology, 5, 204. see article
Fineberg, N. A., Chamberlain, S. R., Goudriaan, A. E., Stein, D. J., Vanderschuren, L.J.M.J., Gillan, C. M., Shekar, S., Gorwood, P.A.P.M., Voon, V., Morein-Zamir, S., Denys, D., Sahakian, B. J., Moeller, G. F., Robbins, T. W., Potenza, M. N. (2014). New Developments in Human Neurocognition: Clinical, Genetic and Brain Imaging Correlates of Impulsivity and Compulsivity. CNS Spectrums, 19, pp 69-89. doi:10.1017/S1092852913000801 see article
Gillan, C. M., Morein-Zamir, S., Urcelay, G.P., Sule, A., Voon, V., Apergis-Schoute, A., Fineberg, N.A., Sahakian, B.J., Robbins, T.W. (2014). Enhanced avoidance habits in obsessive-compulsive disorder. Biological Psychiatry, 75(8), 631-8. doi: 10.1016/j.biopsych.2013.02.002 see article
Gillan, C. M., Morein-Zamir, S., Kaser, M., Fineberg, N. A., Sule, A., Sahakian, B. J., Cardinal, R., Robbins, T. W. (2014). Counterfactual decision-making in obsessive-compulsive disorder: further evidence for impaired goal-directed control. Biological Psychiatry, 75(8), 639-46. doi: 10.1016/j.biopsych.2013.01.018 see article
Morein-Zamir, S., Papmeyer, M., Gillan, C. M., Fineberg, N. A., Robbins, T. W., Sahakian, B. J. (2013). Punishment induces an impulsive response style in OCD: Evidence from a motivational go/no go task. Psychological Medicine, 43(2), 391-400. see article
Robbins, T. W., Gillan, C. M., Smith, D., de Wit, S., Ersche, K. D. (2012). Neurocognitive endophenotypes; a dimensional approach to psychiatry. Trends in Cognitive Neuroscience, 16(1), 81-91.
Gillan, C. M., Papmeyer, M., Morein-Zamir, S., Sahakian, B. J., Fineberg, N. A., Robbins, T. W., de Wit, S. (2011). Disrupted balance between goal-directed behavior versus habit learning in obsessive-compulsive disorder. American Journal of Psychiatry, 168(7), 718-26. see article
Gillan, C. M. (accepted). Habit-learning. Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder: Phenomenology, Pathophysiology and Treatment. Ed. C. Pittenger. Oxford University Press.
Gillan, C. M., Urcelay, G. U. & Robbins, T. W. (in press). An associative account of avoidance. In Handbook of Cognitive Neuroscience and Learning. Eds. Murphy & Honey. Wiley and Sons