Anthony Dickinson, who is the emeritus Professor of Comparative Psychology at the University of Cambridge, has made internationally recognised contributions to our understanding of learning, memory, motivation and planning. His research has focused, in particular, on the distinction between goal-directed and habitual behaviour in both animals and humans. These findings have yielded new insights into drug-seeking behaviour and psychopathology and generated a theory of how animals learn about the value of natural goals. Moreover, his work on goal-directed actions has created new paradigms for behavioural and neurobiological analyses that are used by experts worldwide.
Anthony has also contributed to the development of novel procedures for studying memory and future planning in animals using avian food caching, which have been widely used to investigate memory in a variety of animals.
He has also made significant contribution to our understanding of the role of prediction errors in learning and his monograph, Contemporary animal learning theory, has received sustained citation over nearly 40 years.