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Associate Professor, Neuroscience, University of Reading

Ciara McCabe is an Associate Professor of Neuroscience at the University of Reading (Head: Neuroimaging of Reward Group: NRG).

Dr McCabe’s main interests are in human reward dysfunction in both adult and adolescent depression and she also examines the effects of antidepressant treatments on the neural response to reward.

Dr McCabe gained her BSc in Psychology in 1998 from Queens University Belfast. In 2003 she gained her PhD in Psychology from the University of Ulster where she examined the behavioural and psychopharmacological effects of novel anti-anxiety compounds in a pre-clinical frustrative non-reward model.

She has worked as a post doc in NC, USA examining non-human primate models of drug addiction in 2003 and 2004.

In 2005 she moved to work in Experimental Psychology at Oxford University examining the human reward response using fMRI. In 2007 she moved to the Psychiatry Department at Oxford University to examine with neuroimaging human psychopharmacology and psychoactive medications in relation to depression and eating disorders.

Since 2013 she has been running her research group on the Neuroimaging of Reward (NRG) at the University of Reading Psychology Department, where her main focus is on examining reward function in relation to adolescent anhedonia and depression.


  • –present
    Associate Professor, University of Reading
  • 2007–2013
    Research Fellow, University of Oxford, Psychiatry
  • 2004–2007
    Postdoctoral research fellow, University of Oxford, Experimental Psychology
  • 2003–2004
    Postdoctoral research fellow, Wake Forest University, Physiology and Pharmacology, NC, USA


  • 2003 
    University of Ulster, PhD Experimental Psychology
  • 1998 
    Queens University Belfast, BSc Psychology