Dr Liat Levita, BSc, PhD
The University of Sheffield
Sheffield S10 2TP, UK
Tel: (+44) 0114 222 6651
Fax: (+44) 0114 276 6515
BSc (Hons) University of St Andrews; PhD, University of Cambridge
My research integrates methods of behavioural psychology, and functional and structural brain imaging to understand the neurobiological mechanisms underlying processes of emotion throughout development, especially during adolescence. My main work focuses on the function of the nucleus accumbens in aversive processes. Specifically, I am interested in how pathology of the fronto-striatal circuitry can affect emotional behaviour, and in how stressful early life events (e.g., neglect, abuse, poverty) can affect the development of the fronto-striatal circuitry, leading to increased risk-taking during adolescence, and also the emergence of a number of mental health disorders in that age group. This work is guided by fundamental scientific questions, but is also designed to have potential application in helping to design interventions to increase resilience and well being during adolescence in susceptible populations. Current research tools: Functional and structural MRI, EEG and psychophysiological measures of emotional reactivity, e.g., electrodermal response (EDA), heart Rate, and facial EMG.
Teaching and administrative duties
BSc: PSY259 - Psychological Concepts and Skills [Module Organizer]
BSc: PSY323 - Cognitive Neuroscience
MSc: PSY6121 - Research Methods [Module Organizer]
MSc: PSY6310 - Brain Imaging [Module Organizer]
Supervision: Undergraduate and MSc reserach projects and extended essays. Personal Tutor: Y1 and Y2
Level 2 Tutor
Psychology Teaching Committee
Special Circumstances Committee
Exam board and Level progress meetings
A list of key publications can be found below. For a full list of publications please click here
- Levita L, Hoskin R & Champi S (2012) Avoidance of harm and anxiety: a role for the nucleus accumbens.. Neuroimage, 62(1), 189-198.
- Romaniuk L, Honey GD, King JRL, Whalley HC, McIntosh AM, Levita L, Hughes M, Johnstone EC, Day M, Lawrie SM & Hall J (2010) Midbrain activation during Pavlovian conditioning and delusional symptoms in schizophrenia.. Arch Gen Psychiatry, 67(12), 1246-1254.
- Levita L & Muzzio IA (2010) Role of the hippocampus in goal-oriented tasks requiring retrieval of spatial versus non-spatial information.. Neurobiol Learn Mem, 93(4), 581-588.
- Casey BJ, Jones RM, Levita L, Libby V, Pattwell SS, Ruberry EJ, Soliman F & Somerville LH (2010) The storm and stress of adolescence: insights from human imaging and mouse genetics.. Dev Psychobiol, 52(3), 225-235.
- Soliman F, Glatt CE, Bath KG, Levita L, Jones RM, Pattwell SS, Jing D, Tottenham N, Amso D, Somerville LH, Voss HU, Glover G, Ballon DJ, Liston C, Teslovich T, Van Kempen T, Lee FS & Casey BJ (2010) A genetic variant BDNF polymorphism alters extinction learning in both mouse and human.. Science, 327(5967), 863-866.
- Guo J-D, Hammack SE, Hazra R, Levita L & Rainnie DG (2009) Bi-directional modulation of bed nucleus of stria terminalis neurons by 5-HT: molecular expression and functional properties of excitatory 5-HT receptor subtypes.. Neuroscience, 164(4), 1776-1793.
- Casey BJ, Glatt CE, Tottenham N, Soliman F, Bath K, Amso D, Altemus M, Pattwell S, Jones R, Levita L, McEwen B, Magariños AM, Gunnar M, Thomas KM, Mezey J, Clark AG, Hempstead BL & Lee FS (2009) Brain-derived neurotrophic factor as a model system for examining gene by environment interactions across development.. Neuroscience, 164(1), 108-120.
- Muzzio IA, Levita L, Kulkarni J, Monaco J, Kentros C, Stead M, Abbott LF & Kandel ER (2009) Attention enhances the retrieval and stability of visuospatial and olfactory representations in the dorsal hippocampus.. PLoS Biol, 7(6), e1000140. View this article in WRRO
- Levita L, Hare TA, Voss HU, Glover G, Ballon DJ & Casey BJ (2009) The bivalent side of the nucleus accumbens.. Neuroimage, 44(3), 1178-1187.
- Levita L, Hammack SE, Mania I, Li X-Y, Davis M & Rainnie DG (2004) 5-hydroxytryptamine1A-like receptor activation in the bed nucleus of the stria terminalis: electrophysiological and behavioral studies.. Neuroscience, 128(3), 583-596.
- Levita L, Mania I & Rainnie DG (2003) Subtypes of substance P receptor immunoreactive interneurons in the rat basolateral amygdala.. Brain Res, 981(1-2), 41-51.
- Passetti F, Levita L & Robbins TW (2003) Sulpiride alleviates the attentional impairments of rats with medial prefrontal cortex lesions.. Behav Brain Res, 138(1), 59-69.
- Levita L, Dalley JW & Robbins TW (2002) Nucleus accumbens dopamine and learned fear revisited: a review and some new findings.. Behav Brain Res, 137(1-2), 115-127.
- Levita L, Dalley JW & Robbins TW (2002) Disruption of Pavlovian contextual conditioning by excitotoxic lesions of the nucleus accumbens core.. Behav Neurosci, 116(4), 539-552.
- Dalley JW, McGaughy J, O'Connell MT, Cardinal RN, Levita L & Robbins TW (2001) Distinct changes in cortical acetylcholine and noradrenaline efflux during contingent and noncontingent performance of a visual attentional task.. J Neurosci, 21(13), 4908-4914.
- Sesay AK, Errington ML, Levita L & Bliss TV (1996) Spatial learning and hippocampal long-term potentiation are not impaired in mdx mice.. Neurosci Lett, 211(3), 207-210.
- Slocombe KE, Alvarez I, Branigan HP, Jellema T, Burnett HG, Fischer A, Hei Li Y, Garrod S & Levita L () Linguistic Alignment in Adults with and Without Asperger’s Syndrome. J Autism Dev Disord.