University of Vermont

College of Arts and Sciences

Department of Psychological Science

Hugh Garavan

Joint Appointment

Hugh Garavan

Hugh Garavan
Associate Professor of Psychiatry
Adjunct Associate Professor of Psychological Science, Trinity College, Dublin, Ireland

  • B.A. National University of Ireland, 1990
  • M.A. Bowling Green State University, 1993
  • Ph.D. Bowling Green State University, 1995
C.V. (PDF)
Phone: (802) 656-9618
Room: FAHC-UHC Room 6436

Office Hours: Wednesday 11:30 - 12:30 in room 212 or at UHC


My research interest is cognitive neuroscience, an area in which the experimental methods for isolating and studying psychological processes are married to a neurobiological approach to understanding the brain functions that subserve these processes. Within this broad area, my primary interest is cognitive control functions, those processes involved in monitoring, coordinating and adapting our behaviour so as to achieve our goals. This interest merges naturally into clinical questions regarding the neurobiology underlying control dysfunction. For example, my primary clinical interest, addiction, is characterized by ineffectual control over pathological drug urges. Indeed many psychiatric and health-related conditions (e.g., ADHD, schizophrenia, OCD, obesity) can be usefully conceived of in terms of poor control over behaviour.

Related research interests concern the processes underlying the development of cognitive functions and how these might contribute to the psychopathologies that tend to emerge during adolescence. The neurobiology of individual differences and intra-individual changes such as those that underlie the brain plasticity that is evident as one practices a task are also related interests. Additional clinical interests include autism, ADHD and schizophrenia.

My primary research tool is structural and functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging which is an ideal tool for understanding the neuroscience of human function and dysfunction. Many high-level intellectual functions and many clinically-relevant questions (e.g., why do some people who are highly motivated to quit drugs nonetheless relapse) do not easily lend themselves to animal models. Moreover, there are not good animal models for many human psychopathologies. Consequently, being able to study the neurobiology of these processes can yield powerful insights. Arising from the use of this technology is an interest in fMRI methods development. I have also worked in collaboration with others on Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation and EEG, two techniques that very nicely complement functional MRI.

Representative Publications

  • Whelan, R., Conrod, P., Poline, J-B., Banaschewski, T., Barker, G.J., Bellgrove, M.A., Büchel, C., Byrne, M., Cummins, T., Fauth-Bühler, M., Flor, H., Gallinat J., Heinz, A., Ittermann, B., Lourdusamy, A., Mann, K., Martinot, J-L., Lalor, E.C., Lathrop, M., Loth, E., Paus, T., Rietschel, M., Smolka, M.N., Spanagel, R., Stephens, D., Struve, M., Thyreau, B., Vollstaedt-Klein, S., Robbins, T.W., Schumann, G., & Garavan, H. and the IMAGEN consortium. (2012). Adolescent impulsivity phenotypes characterized by distinct brain networks. Nature Neuroscience 15, 920–925.
  • Nestor, L., McCabe, E., Jones, J., Clancy, L., & Garavan, H. (2011). Differences in “bottom-up” and “top-down” neural activity in current and former cigarette smokers: evidence for neural substrates which may promote nicotine abstinence through increased cognitive control. NeuroImage 56, 2258-2275.
  • Kelly, C. & Garavan, H. (2005). Human functional neuroimaging of brain changes associated with practice. Cerebral Cortex 15, 1089-1102.
  • Hester, R., & Garavan, H. (2004). Executive dysfunction in Cocaine addiction: evidence for discordant frontal, cingulate and cerebellar activity. The Journal of Neuroscience 24, 11017-11022.
  • Garavan, H., Ross, T. J., Murphy, K., Roche, R. A. P., & Stein, E. A. (2002). Dissociable executive functions in the dynamic control of behaviour: Inhibition, error detection and correction. NeuroImage 17, 1820-1829.
  • Garavan, H., Ross, T. J., & Stein, E. A. (1999). Right hemispheric dominance of inhibitory control: an event-related fMRI study. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, USA 96 (14), 8301-8306.
  • Garavan, H. (1998). Serial attention within working memory. Memory & Cognition, 26 (2), 263-276.
Acting Chair
Clinical Training Program Director
General/Experimental Program Acting Director
Undergraduate Director
Business Manager
Behavioral Pharmacology
Joint Appointment
Behavior Therapy and Psychotherapy Faculty
Clinical Psychology Internship Program (CPIP)
Post-Doctoral Fellows
Emeriti Faculty
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