• Psychiatry
  • Back

    Professor Valerie Voon

    University Position


    Why do we repeat behaviours that we know are bad for us? Or make impulsive poorly considered decisions? These decision making processes are relevant in our daily lives and can be hijacked in disorders of pathology. The Voon lab spans across Cambridge and Shanghai focusing on interventional psychiatry and is anchored on understanding mechanisms underlying human self-control and compulsivity relevant to addictions and compulsive disorders. The lab focuses on identifying modifiable anatomical and functional biomarkers for invasive and non-invasive neuromodulation with the ultimate aim to optimise treatment approaches. We use multiple modalities including imaging, physiology, pharmacological challenges, cognitive neuroscience and computational modelling approaches.

    Key Publications

    The neural substrates of risky rewards and losses in healthy volunteers and patient groups: a PET imaging study.

    Journal: Psychol Med
    E-pub date: 1 Oct 2022
    Authors: N Skandali, J Majuri, J Joutsa, K Baek, E Arponen, S Forsback, V Kaasinen, V Voon

    Integrated Amygdala, Orbitofrontal and Hippocampal Contributions to Reward and Loss Coding Revealed with Human Intracranial EEG.

    Journal: J Neurosci
    E-pub date: 30 Mar 2022
    Authors: L Manssuer, D Qiong, L Wei, R Yang, C Zhang, Y Zhao, B Sun, S Zhan, V Voon

    The role of dopaminergic and serotonergic transmission in the processing of primary and monetary reward.

    Journal: Neuropsychopharmacology
    E-pub date: 31 Aug 2020
    Authors: C Schmidt, N Skandali, C Gleesborg, TL Kvamme, H Schmidt, K Frisch, A Møller, V Voon

    Dissociable effects of acute SSRI (escitalopram) on executive, learning and emotional functions in healthy humans.

    Journal: Neuropsychopharmacology
    E-pub date: 1 Dec 2018
    Authors: N Skandali, JB Rowe, V Voon, JB Deakin, RN Cardinal, F Cormack, L Passamonti, WR Bevan-Jones, R Regenthal, SR Chamberlain, TW Robbins, BJ Sahakian


    Mechanisms underlying capsulotomy for refractory obsessive-compulsive disorder: neural correlates of negative affect processing overlap with deep brain stimulation targets.

    Journal: Mol Psychiatry
    E-pub date: 1 Jul 2023
    Authors: H Cui, Y Zhang, Y Zhao, Y Zhao, Q Ding, R Chen, L Manssuer, C Zhang, W Liu, D Li, B Sun, V Voon

    Avoiding monetary loss: A human habenula functional MRI ultra-high field study.

    Journal: Cortex
    E-pub date: 1 Sep 2021
    Authors: K Weidacker, S-G Kim, CL Nord, C Rua, CT Rodgers, V Voon

    Incentives and voluntary stopping: The intentional hand task.

    Journal: Cognition
    E-pub date: 1 Jan 2021
    Authors: K Weidacker, TL Kvamme, S Whiteford, N Valle Guzman, V Voon

    The neurochemical substrates of habitual and goal-directed control.

    Journal: Transl Psychiatry
    E-pub date: 3 Mar 2020
    Authors: V Voon, J Joutsa, J Majuri, K Baek, CL Nord, E Arponen, S Forsback, V Kaasinen

    The effect of frontoparietal paired associative stimulation on decision-making and working memory.

    Journal: Cortex
    E-pub date: 31 Aug 2019
    Authors: CL Nord, T Popa, E Smith, R Hannah, N Doñamayor, K Weidacker, PM Bays, J Rothwell, V Voon

    The myeloarchitecture of impulsivity: premature responding in youth is associated with decreased myelination of ventral putamen.

    Journal: Neuropsychopharmacology
    E-pub date: 1 Jun 2019
    Authors: CL Nord, S-G Kim, MB Callesen, TL Kvamme, M Jensen, MU Pedersen, KR Thomsen, V Voon

    Cortical Paired Associative Stimulation Influences Response Inhibition: Cortico-cortical and Cortico-subcortical Networks.

    Journal: Biol Psychiatry
    E-pub date: 15 Feb 2019
    Authors: S Kohl, R Hannah, L Rocchi, CL Nord, J Rothwell, V Voon

    Intranasal oxytocin enhances intrinsic corticostriatal functional connectivity in women.

    Journal: Transl Psychiatry
    E-pub date: 18 Apr 2017
    Authors: RAI Bethlehem, MV Lombardo, M-C Lai, B Auyeung, SK Crockford, J Deakin, S Soubramanian, A Sule, P Kundu, V Voon, S Baron-Cohen

    Enhanced avoidance habits in obsessive-compulsive disorder.

    Journal: Biological Psychiatry
    E-pub date: 15 Apr 2014
    Authors: CM Gillan, S Morein-Zamir, GP Urcelay, A Sule, V Voon, AM Apergis-Schoute, NA Fineberg, BJ Sahakian, TW Robbins

    The effects of oxytocin on social reward learning in humans.

    Journal: Int J Neuropsychopharmacol
    E-pub date: 1 Feb 2014
    Authors: R Clark-Elford, PJ Nathan, B Auyeung, V Voon, A Sule, U Müller, R Dudas, BJ Sahakian, KL Phan, S Baron-Cohen

    Measuring “waiting” impulsivity in substance addictions and binge eating disorder in a novel analogue of rodent serial reaction time task.

    Journal: Biological Psychiatry
    E-pub date: 15 Jan 2014
    Authors: V Voon, MA Irvine, K Derbyshire, Y Worbe, I Lange, S Abbott, S Morein-Zamir, R Dudley, D Caprioli, NA Harrison, J Wood, JW Dalley, ET Bullmore, JE Grant, TW Robbins