Professor Peter Redgrave

MSc, PhD

Department of Psychology

+44 114 222 6562

Full contact details

Professor Peter Redgrave
Department of Psychology
Cathedral Court
1 Vicar Lane
S1 2LT

MSc, PhD (University of Hull)

Research interests

My research philosophy assumes that to diagnose and correct what has gone wrong in a complicated system, it is helpful to have a good understanding of its normal function.

Normal functions of the basal ganglia

Consequently, as a prelude to the development of more effective treatments for diseases associated with basal ganglia dysfunction (including Parkinson´s disease, schizophrenia, Tourette´s syndrome, obsessive compulsive disorder, attention deficit disorder and the many forms of addiction) my research is part of the research effort to elucidate normal functions of the basal ganglia.

Along with the cerebellum, cortex and hippocampus, the basal ganglia constitute one of the brain´s principal processing units. Common to all is a repeating internal micro-architecture that receives input from, and provides output to functionally diverse regions of the brain.

An understanding of the computational processes performed by the basal ganglia on one of its functional inputs is therefore likely to provide profound insights into how inputs from other functional systems are treated.

Basal ganglia function in interaction with the superior colliculus

Thus, we have chosen to investigate how a subcortical sensorimotor structure, the superior colliculus, interacts with the basal ganglia. The superior colliculus was selected because it is one of the few brain structures whose function is comparatively well understood.

It is responsible for generating the gaze-shift which brings an unexpected event onto the retinal fovea for more detailed analysis. If we can appreciate exactly how the basal ganglia contribute to this function we are likely to have a much clearer idea of what the basal ganglia do more generally.

We use a wide range of anatomical, electrophysiological, electrochemical, pharmacological and behavioural techniques to investigate the functional architecture of the circuitry through which the superior colliculus and basal ganglia interact.

This information is used to constrain the computational models of these circuits that have been constructed by my computational neuroscience collaborators within the Department here in Sheffield, notably, Kevin Gurney and Tony Prescott.

In the near future we intend to include the expertise we have in functional imaging within the Department to augment our systems analysis of basal ganglia function.

See the Adaptive Behaviour Research Group (ABRG) page

Research group

Research assistants

  • Nico Vautrelle
  • Mariana Leriche
  • 2013-2016 Redgrave P, Zheng Y (PI), Berwick J, Jones M, Billings S, Coca D, Milne E,  BBSRC.  "Understanding neural excitation and inhibition: implications for the interpretation of extracellular field potentials and neurovascular coupling" (£850,000)
  • 2010-2013 Redgrave P, and Overton P.G., Wellcome Project Grant to study "Sensory reinforced cortico-striatal plasticity” 297,756)
  • 2009-2013 Redgrave P, Gurney K, Stafford T, + 8 international collaborators, European Framework 7 grant to study “intrinsically motivated cumulative learning in versatile robots” 5.9M euros (£611,458 to Sheffield)
  • 2007-2010 Redgrave P, and Overton P.G., Wellcome Project Grant to study "Is subcortical input to the basal ganglia via the thalamus organised into parallel, functionally segregated channels (£334,830)
  • 2006-2009 Redgrave P and Overton P.G., BBSRC Project Grant, "Short latency auditory and somatosensory input to dopaminergic neurones" £304,451
  • EPSRC Cluster grant Redgrave P, Gurney K, Prescott with Gurney K, Prescott A.J, + Universities of Bristol (R. Bogacz and R, Baddeley) , Aberystwyth (M.Lee), UMIST (P. Dudek), Oxford (P.D Nixon), Cambridge, (P.N Tobler), Dundee (B.W Tatler) and BAE Systems)) to study "Integrative computation for autonomous agents: a novel approach based on the vertebrate brain" £1,720,000 (£711,000 to Sheffield)
  • 2003-2006 Redgrave P, Prescott A.J. and Gurney K, EPSRC Project Grant (GR/S19639/01) "Whiskerbot: A Robot Whisker System Modelled on the Rat Mystacial Vibrissae (Facial Whiskers)" £430,503
  • 2003 Macquarie University (Sydney, Australia) Research Grant (Visiting Scholar Award) P Redgrave with Dr Charles Blaha £1993
  • 2002-2007 Redgrave P, and Mayhew J.E.W., MRC Programme Grant (G0100538): Haemodynamic models of cortical sensorimotor processing in behaving rats £704,840
  • 2002-2005 Redgrave P, and Overton, P.G., Wellcome Trust Project Grant (GR068021) "The tectonigral projection: A potential source of short latency visual input to dopaminergic neurones" £186,178
  • 2002-2005 Redgrave P, Prescott A.J. and Gurney K, EPSRC Project Grant (GR/R95722/01) "Robot control using a model of central structures in the vertebrate brain" £161,244
  • 2000-2002 Redgrave P, and Westby G.W.M., Wellcome Trust Grant (059735) "Is superior colliculus a source of short latency visual information for mesencephalic dopamine neurones?" £103,678
Teaching activities

I teach on module PSY108 and module PSY101. I am also P/g Tutor P Sci and sit on the Psychology Management Committee and Postgraduate Studies Committee.

Professional activities and memberships

Invited talks: departmental seminars

  • University of Zurich, Brain Research Institute (Switzerland)
  • Addenbrooke’s Hospital: Dept Clinical Neuroscience (Cambridge, UK)
  • National Institute of Physiological Sciences (Okazaki, Japan)
  • University of Kyoto, Primate Research Institute (Kyoto, Japan)
  • Qualcomm/Brain Corporation, (San Diego, USA)
  • University of Sydney: Dept. Anatomy (Australia)
  • University of Strasbourg: Centre for Neuroscience
  • University of Oxford: Depts Psychology and Pharmacology
  • University of Cambridge: Dept. Psychology
  • University of London: Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience
  • University of Bristol: Dept. of Pharmacology
  • University of St. Andrews: Dept Psychology
  • University of Birmingham: Dept. Psychology.
  • University of Manchester: Dept Optometry and Neuroscience
  • Wake Forest School of Medicine (NC): Dept Neurobiology and Anatomy (USA)
  • Macquarie University: Depts Psychology and Cognitive Sciences (Australia)
  • University of Marburg: Dept of Neuroscience (Germany)
  • Netherlands Institute for Brain Research (Amsterdam)
  • University of Rochester: School of Medicine and Dentistry (Dept. of Pharmacology and Physiology (USA)
  • University of Chicago: Dept Neurobiology, Pharmacology and Physiology (USA)
  • University of Otago (Dunedin): Dept of Anatomy and Structural Biology (New Zealand)
  • University of Sao Paulo: Ribeirão Preto, Dept. Physiology (Brazil)
  • University of California San Francisco: Wheeler Center for the Neurobiology of Addiction (USA)
  • University of Grenoble: Preclinical Neurobiology INSERM U318 (France)

Invited talks: conferences

  • Session speaker at University of Navarra symposium on Understanding Parkinson’s disease. (Pamplona, Spain, April, 2013)
  • Session speaker at British Neuroscience Association meeting (London, UK, April 2013)
  • Session organiser at International Basal Ganglia Society meeting (Eilat, Israel, March 2013)
  • Session speaker at XXX Ethology Annual Meeting (Ribeirao Preto, Brazil, Nov 2012)
  • Course tutor at Neuroscience School of Advanced Studies (San Quirico d’Orcia, Italy, August 2012)
  • Session speaker at ESF workshop on ‘Motivation and action’ (Copenhagen, Denmark, August 2012)
  • Session speaker at satellite symposium  on ‘Motor learning and motor skills, 8th Federation of European Neuroscience Societies Forum (Barcelona, Spain, July 2012)
  • Session speaker at Swiss Neurological and Neurophysiological Societies, (Lugano, Switzerland, May 2012)
  • Session speaker at a meeting of the British Paediatric Neurology Association, (London, UK, March 2012)
  • Session speaker at the 2nd International Conference on ‘Knowledge gaps in Parkinson’s disease and other movement disorders’, (St Margherita, Italy, Feb 2012)
  • Symposium speaker at the annual meeting of the Society for Neuroscience (Washington DC, USA, Nov 2011)
  • Speaker at the Gordon Research Conference on Eye Movements (Biddeford, USA, August 2011)
  • Session speaker at the 15th International Congress of Parkinson’s Disease and Movement Disorders, (Toronto, Canada, June 2011)
  • Session speaker at Italian Neurological Society meeting ( Sirolo, Italy, May 2011)
  •  Session speaker at 3st Annual Meeting of the Australian Neuroscience Society (Auckland, New Zealand, Jan, 2011)    
Activities and distinction
  • Active collaborations:  Prof. T, Isa (National Institute of Physiological Sciences, Okazaki, Japan);  Prof. J. Obeso (University of Navarra, Pamplona, Spain); Dr J Reynolds (Univeristy of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand); Prof. J. Mchaffie (Wake Forest School of Medicine, Winston Salem, USA)
  • External Examiner at the following universities: Wake Forest School of Medicine (USA), Drexel University (USA), Georgetown University (USA), Karolinska Institute (Sweden).  Doctoral thesis examined at the following Universities: Strasbourg (France), Sydney (Australia), Oxford, St Andrews, and Belfast
  • Referee for Journals: Science; Nature; Journal of Comparative Neurology; Journal of Neuroscience; Neuroscience; European Journal of Neuroscience; Experimental Brain Research; Brain Research; Physiology and Behavior; Pharmacology; Biochemistry and Behaviour; Psychopharmacology; Life Sciences; Neuroscience Methods; Neuroscience and Biobehavioural Reviews; NeuroReport.
  • Referee for Funding Agencies: BBSRC, MRC, Wellcome Trust, NATO, INSERM (France), Marsden Foundation (New Zealand), NSF (USA).