Dr James McCutcheon

James McCutcheon

Tel: +44 (0)116 229 7485

Email: jem64@le.ac.uk






Personal details


  • BSc in Neuroscience, University of Sussex (2002)
  • Wellcome Trust PhD in Neuroscience, University College London (2007)



James McCutcheon Research Page Image 1


2018 Murphy M, Peters KZ, Denton BS, Lee KA, Chadchankar H, McCutcheon JE. Restriction of dietary protein leads to conditioned protein preference and elevated palatability of protein-containing food in rats. Physiology & Behavior doi: 10.1016/j.physbeh.2017.

2017 Whiting L, McCutcheon JE, Boyle CN, Roitman MF, Lutz TA. The area postrema (AP) and the parabrachial nucleus (PBN) are important sites for salmon calcitonin (sCT) to decrease evoked phasic dopamine release in the nucleus accumbens (NAc). Physiology & Behavior doi: 10.1016/j.physbeh.2017.03.023.

2016 Cone JJ, Fortin SM, McHenry JA, Stuber GD, McCutcheon JE, Roitman MF. Physiological state gates acquisition and expression of mesolimbic reward prediction signals. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA doi: 10.1073/pnas.1519643113.

2015 Jones LJ, McCutcheon JE, Young AMJ, Norton WH. Neurochemical measurements in the zebrafish brain. Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience doi: 10.3389/fnbeh.2015.00246.

2015 McCutcheon JE. The role of dopamine in the pursuit of nutritional value. Physiology & Behavior doi: 10.1016/j.physbeh.2015.05.003.

2014 McCutcheon JE, Cone JJ, Sinon CG, Fortin SM, Kantak PA, Witten IB, Deisseroth K, Stuber GD, Roitman MF. Optical suppression of drug-evoked phasic dopamine release. Frontiers in Neural Circuits 8: 114. PMID: 255590005.

2014 Marinelli M, McCutcheon JE. Heterogeneity of dopamine neuron activity across traits and states. Neuroscience 282C:176-197. PMID: 25084048.

2014 Cone JJ, McCutcheon JE, Roitman MF. Ghrelin acts as an interface between physiological state and phasic dopamine signaling. Journal of Neuroscience 34(14):4905-4913. PMID: 24695709.

2014 Mietlicki-Baase EG, Ortinski PI, Reiner DJ, Sinon CG, McCutcheon JE, Pierce RC, Roitman MF, Hayes MR. Glucagon-like peptide-1 receptor activation in the nucleus accumbens core suppresses feeding by increasing glutamatergic AMPA/kainate signaling. Journal of Neuroscience 34(20):6985-92. PMID: 24828651.

2013 Wong WC, Ford KA, Pagels NE, McCutcheon JE, Marinelli M. Adolescents are more vulnerable to cocaine addiction: behavioral and electrophysiological evidence. Journal of Neuroscience 33(11):4913-22. PMID:23486962.

2012 McCutcheon JE, Ebner SR, Loriaux AL, Roitman MF. Encoding of aversion by dopamine and the nucleus accumbens. Frontiers in Neuroscience 6:137. PMID:23055953.

2012 McCutcheon JE, Conrad KL, Carr SB, Ford KA, McGehee DS, Marinelli M. Dopamine neurons in the ventral tegmental area fire faster in adolescent rats than in adults. Journal of Neurophysiology 108(6):1620-30. PMID: 22723669

2012 Beeler JA, McCutcheon JE*, Cao ZFH, Murakami M, Roitman MF, Zhuang X. Taste uncoupled from nutrition fails to sustain the reinforcing properties of food. European Journal of Neuroscience 36(4):2533–2546. PMID: 22712685.

2012 Sinkala E, McCutcheon JE*, Schuck M, Schmidt E, Roitman MF, Eddington DT. Electrode calibration with a microfluidic flow cell for fast-scan cyclic voltammetry. Lab on a Chip 12(13):2403-8. PMID: 22522908.

2012 McCutcheon JE, Beeler JA, Roitman MF. Sucrose-predictive cues evoke greater phasic dopamine release than saccharin-predictive cues. Synapse 66(4):346-351. PMCID: PMC3269555.

2011 Brown HD, McCutcheon JE, Cone JJ, Ragozzino ME, Roitman MF. Primary food reward and reward-predictive stimuli evoke different patterns of phasic dopamine signaling throughout the striatum. European Journal of Neuroscience 34(12):1997-2006. PMCID: PMC3237906.

2011 McCutcheon JE, Loweth JA, Ford KA, Marinelli M, Wolf ME, Tseng KY. Group I mGluR activation reverses cocaine-induced accumulation of calcium-permeable AMPA receptors in nucleus accumbens synapses via a protein kinase C-dependent mechanism. Journal of Neuroscience 31(41):14536-14541. PMCID: PMC3220940.

2011 McCutcheon JE, Wang X, Tseng KY, Wolf ME, Marinelli M. Calcium-permeable AMPA receptors are present in nucleus accumbens synapses after prolonged withdrawal from cocaine self-administration but not experimenter-administered cocaine. Journal of Neuroscience 31(15):5737-5743. PMCID: PMC3157976.

2009 Conrad KL, McCutcheon JE, Cotterley LM, Ford KA, Beales M, Marinelli M. Persistent increases in cocaine-seeking behavior after acute exposure to cold swim stress. Biological Psychiatry 68(3):303-305. PMCID: PMC2907460.

2009 McCutcheon JE, White F, Marinelli M. Individual differences in dopamine cell neuroadaptations following cocaine self-administration. Biological Psychiatry 66(8):801-803. PMCID: PMC2767203.

2009 McCutcheon JE, Marinelli M. Age matters. European Journal of Neuroscience 29(5):997-1014. PMCID: PMC2761206.

2008 McCutcheon JE, Fisher AS, Guzdar E, Wood SA, Lightman SL, Hunt SP. Genetic background influences the behavioural and molecular consequences of neurokinin-1 receptor knockout. European Journal of Neuroscience 27(3):683-690.


My research is focused on understanding the neural processes that govern behaviour towards rewards – both adaptive rewards (e.g. food) and maladaptive rewards (e.g. drugs).

In particular, how does our experience with such rewards shape our future responses towards them and how do other stimuli and cues that are associated with rewards become able to motivate behaviour? A number of diseases, particularly drug addiction and obesity, may involve dysfunction in processes such as these.

The neurotransmitter dopamine is critical for many of these behaviours and, accordingly my research, is based on understanding dopamine signalling. I use a number of techniques to investigate this, including electrophysiology and voltammetry, which allow real-time measurements of neural activity and neurotransmitter release.

Currently, my primary project concerns how nutritional value (e.g. caloric content) affects learning and responding about different foods.

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Department of Neuroscience, Psychology and Behaviour
University of Leicester
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T: +44 (0)116 252 2922
E: npbenquiries@le.ac.uk


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