Professor David Belin


College position:

Director of Studies in Psychology & Behavioural Studies

Photograph of Dr David Belin
Photograph of Dr David Belin

Our research is interested in the neural, cellular and molecular substrates of inter-individual vulnerability to develop impulsive/compulsive disorders such as drug addiction, Obsessive / Compulsive Disorder, Tourette’s syndrome, pathological gambling or dopamine dysregulation syndrome in Parkinson Disease.

Our working hypothesis is that impulses, originating from the amygdalo-insular networks can drive the behavior through explicit knowledge involving prefrontal and orbitofrontal loops or implicit mechanisms that instead depend upon the functional relationships of these structures with several domains of the striatum.

We suggest that inter-individual vulnerability to develop impulsive/compulsive neuropsychiatric disorders stem from aberrant plasticity processes within the corticostriatal networks governing the translation of impulses into actions that ultimately result in a so-called abnormal incentive habit process.

Subject areas

Cognitive and Behavioural Neuroscience Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience

Links to online publications, articles or other work

Key publications:

Daniel ML, Cocker PJ, Lacoste J, Mar AC, Houeto JL, Belin-Rauscent A & Belin D (2017) The anterior insula bidirectionally modulates cost-benefit decision making on a rodent gambling task, EJN, 10.1111/ejn.13689

Murray JE, Belin-Rauscent A, Simon M, Giuliano C, Benoît-Marand M, Everitt BJ* & Belin D* (2015) Differential role of the basolateral and central amygdala in the recruitment and maintenance of dorsolateral striatum-dependent cocaine seeking habits. Nature Communications (6), doi:10.1038/ncomms10088. *: co last authors

Ducret E, Puaud M, Lacoste J, Dugast E, Belin-Rauscent A, Murray JE, Everitt BJ, Houeto JL & Belin D (2015) N-acetylcysteine-induced increased sensitivity to adverse consequences in rats with escalated cocaine intake is associated with parallel cellular plasticity mechanisms in the ventral and dorsolateral striatum. Biological Psychiatry, doi:10.1016/j.biopsych.2015.09.019

Belin-Rauscent A, Daniel ML, Puaud M, Jupp B, Sawiak SJ, Howett D, McKenzie C, Caprioli D, Besson M, Robbins TW, Everitt BJ, Dalley JW & Belin D (2015) From impulses to maladaptive actions: the insula is a neurobiological gate for the development of compulsive disorders. Molecular Psychiatry, doi:10.1038/mp.2015.140

Belin D, Belin-Rauscent A, Murray JE, Everitt BJ (2013) Drug addiction: a failure in regulation maladaptive incentive habits. Current Opinion in Neurobiology, 23 (4), 564-572; DOI:10.1016/j.conb.2013.01.025

Besson M, Pelloux Y, Dilleen R, Theobald DT, Lyon A, Belin-Rauscent A, Robbins TW, Dalley JW, Everitt BJ; Belin D. (2013) Cocaine modulation of fronto-striatal expression of zif268, D2and 5-HT2c receptors in high and low impulsive rats. Neuropsychopharmacology, 38(10):1963-73. doi:10.1038/npp.2013.95

Belin D, Mar AC, Dalley JW, Robbins TW and Everitt BJ (2008) High impulsivity predicts the switch to compulsive cocaine taking. Science, 320(5881): 1352-1355.

Belin D and Everitt BJ (2008) Cocaine-Seeking Habits Depend upon Dopamine-Dependent Serial Connectivity Linking the Ventral with the Dorsal Striatum. Neuron, 57:432-441

Deroche-Gamonet V, Belin D, Piazza PV (2004) Evidence for addiction-like behaviour in the rat, Science 305(5686):1014-7