Professor Barry Everitt FMedSci FRS

Barry Everitt is an international authority on the role of learning and memory in the development of drug addiction. He has been able to use this understanding to develop potential treatments for addiction that involve disrupting drug-associated memories to help addicts ‘unlearn’ deeply ingrained habits of drug use and remain drug-free in the future.

His research explains the switch from recreational use to drug dependence partly in terms of conditioned responses, such as craving induced by the sight of drug paraphernalia. Barry has observed a concomitant shift in neural control from conscious decision-making activity in the frontal lobe to dominance by unconscious reward centres activated by the neurotransmitter dopamine.

Amongst many awards, he has received the American Psychological Association Distinguished Scientific Contribution Award (2011), the British Association of Psychopharmacology Lifetime Achievement Award (2012) and the Fondation IPSEN Neuronal Plasticity Prize (2014). In 2014, he became President-elect of the Federation of European Neuroscience Societies.

Professional position

  • Provost, Gates Cambridge Trust
  • Professor of Behavioural Neuroscience, Department of Psychology, University of Cambridge

Subject groups

  • Anatomy, physiology and neurosciences

    Behavioural neuroscience, Cellular neuroscience


  • Croonian Medal and Lecture

    He has elucidated brain mechanisms of motivation and applied them to important societal issues such as drug addiction.