Dr Lee Hogarth
Associate Professor


Office hours = Monday at 1 and Tuesday at 11

My work over the past 20 years has focused on the abnormal learning processes underpinning the transition from recreational drug use to dependence, i.e. what makes some people more vulnerable to addiction. This work has been funded by the Wellcome Trust, BBSRC, ESRC and MRC and Alcohol Research UK. I have developed a range of novel human laboratory procedures inspired by animal behavioral neuroscience to study dependence liability. My PhD and early post-doctoral work was inspired by the claim of incentive salience theory that drug related cues command selective attention which controls automatic drug-seeking. I developed a novel conditioning procedure to measure acquired attentional bias for drug paired cues with eye tracking(1). However, the attentional bias established by drug conditioning was not reliably associated with level of dependence, and could be abolished without affecting the capacity of the stimulus control of drug-seeking behavior(2, 3). I concluded that incentive salience for drug cues does not underpin dependence vulnerability and is not a viable target for treatment. For this reason, I moved on to study whether dependence is driven by drug cues eliciting greater drug-seeking behavior(4), and was the first person to develop a human Pavlovian to instrumental transfer procedure with drug rewards (a mainstay of animal behavioral neuroscience) for this purpose(5). However, once again, the ability of external drug cues to promote drug-seeking behavior was not associated with dependence severity(6-10), and so this process could not underpin vulnerability(11-14). I then returned to test the preferred hypothesis of my one time PhD supervisor, Anthony Dickinson (FRS) – that drug dependence is driven by excessive habit learning, that is, the tendency to repeat well practiced drug-seeking behavior without forethought for the consequences. To study this process, I was the first person to develop a novel outcome-devaluation procedure (another mainstay of animal behavioral neuroscience) for humans with drug reinforcers(6, 7). With this method, I demonstrated that human drug-seeking was habitual under conditions of cognitive load(15-17). However, such habit learning was not more pronounced in individuals with greater dependence and so could not underpin vulnerability(6, 7, 12). Despite these wrong turns, my recent work has revealed what learning processes underpin dependence vulnerability. There are, it seems, two independent vulnerabilities. Behavioral economists have long espoused the first vulnerability; that some individuals experience drugs as more reinforcing and so choose drugs preferentially over other natural rewards, accounting for individual differences in dependence level. My work with the outcome-devaluation procedure has supported this view, demonstrating that preferential drug choice in more dependent individuals is goal-directed, that is, driven by an expectation of greater reward value of the drug, and is not automatic or habitual as commonly claimed (6, 7, 9, 18-20). The second (additive) vulnerability is that some individuals experience greater negative emotions, psychiatric symptoms, withdrawal related states, cognitive impairments or physical ailments which can be acutely mitigated by drug use, endowing these negative states with capacity to raise the expected rewards value of the drug, thus motivating goal-directed drug-seeking(21-23). My recent work has demonstrated experimentally that negative states act as powerful motivators of goal-directed tobacco-seeking(21) and that individuals with comorbid depression are more vulnerable to negative triggers for tobacco-seeking(23). This novel affective incentive learning account of dependence vulnerability has also been explicated in a high profile review article(22). My current work focuses on hypersensitivity to negative triggers for drug use in groups with comorbid psychiatric illness, to inform understanding of mechanisms, as well as treatment and prevention strategies for vulnerable drug user groups.


1.         Hogarth L., Dickinson A., Hutton S. B., Elbers N., Duka T. Drug expectancy is necessary for stimulus control of human attention, instrumental drug-seeking behaviour and subjective pleasure, Psychopharmacology 2006: 185: 495-504.

2.         Hogarth L., Dickinson A., Janowski M., Nikitina A., Duka T. The role of attentional bias in mediating human drug seeking behaviour, Psychopharmacology 2008: 201: 29–41.

3.         Hogarth L., Dickinson A., Duka T. Detection versus sustained attention to drug cues have dissociable roles in mediating drug seeking behaviour, Exp Clin Psychopharmacol 2009: 17: 21-30.

4.         Hogarth L., Duka T. Human nicotine conditioning requires explicit contingency knowledge: is addictive behaviour cognitively mediated?, Psychopharmacology 2006: 184: 553-566.

5.         Hogarth L., Dickinson A., Wright A., Kouvaraki M., Duka T. The role of drug expectancy in the control of human drug seeking, J Exp Psychol Anim Behav Process 2007: 33: 484-496.

6.         Hogarth L., Chase H. W. Parallel goal-directed and habitual control of human drug-seeking: Implications for dependence vulnerability, J Exp Psychol: Anim Behav Processes 2011: 37: 261-276.

7.         Hogarth L. Goal-directed and transfer-cue-elicited drug-seeking are dissociated by pharmacotherapy: Evidence for independent additive controllers, J Exp Psychol: Anim Behav Processes 2012: 38: 266-278.

8.         Martinovic J., Jones A., Christiansen P., Rose A. K., Hogarth L., Field M. Electrophysiological responses to alcohol cues are not associated with Pavlovian-to-instrumental transfer in social drinkers, PLoS One 2014: 9: e94605.

9.         Hogarth L., Chase H. W. Evaluating psychological markers for human nicotine dependence: Tobacco choice, extinction, and Pavlovian-to-instrumental transfer, Exp Clin Psychopharmacol 2012: 20: 213-224.

10.       Hardy L., Mitchell C., Seabrooke T., Hogarth L. Drug cue reactivity involves hierarchical instrumental learning: evidence from a biconditional Pavlovian to instrumental transfer task, Psychopharmacology 2017.

11.       Hogarth L., Troisi J. R. I. A hierarchical instrumental decision theory of nicotine dependence. In: Balfour D. J. K. & Munafò M. R., editors. The Neurobiology and Genetics of Nicotine and Tobacco: Springer International Publishing; 2015, p. 165-191.

12.       Hogarth L. Controlled and automatic learning processes in addiction. In: Pickard H. & Ahmed S., editors. The Routledge Handbook of Philosophy and Science of Addiction, London and New York: Routledge; In Press.

13.       Hogarth L., Balleine B. W., Corbit L. H., Killcross S. Associative learning mechanisms underpinning the transition from recreational drug use to addiction, Ann N Y Acad Sci 2013: 1282: 12-24.

14.       Hitsman B., Hogarth L., Tseng L.-J., Teige J. C., Shadel W. G., Dibenedetti D. B. et al. Dissociable effect of acute varenicline on tonic versus cue-provoked craving in non-treatment-motivated heavy smokers, Drug Alcohol Depend 2013: 130: 135-141.

15.       Hogarth L., Attwood A. S., Bate H. A., Munafò M. R. Acute alcohol impairs human goal-directed action, Biological Psychology 2012: 90: 154-160.

16.       Hogarth L., Chase H. W., Baess K. Impaired goal-directed behavioural control in human impulsivity, Q J Exp Psychol 2012: 65: 305-316.

17.       Hogarth L., Field M., Rose A. K. Phasic transition from goal-directed to habitual control over drug-seeking produced by conflicting reinforcer expectancy, Addict Biol 2013: 18: 88–97.

18.       Chase H. W., Mackillop J., Hogarth L. Isolating behavioural economic indices of demand in relation to nicotine dependence, Psychopharmacology 2013: 226: 371-380.

19.       Rose A. K., Brown K., Field M., Hogarth L. The contributions of value-based decision-making and attentional bias to alcohol-seeking following devaluation, Addiction 2013: 108: 1241-1249.

20.       Panlilio L. V., Hogarth L., Shoaib M. Concurrent access to nicotine and sucrose in rats, Psychopharmacology 2015: 232: 1451-1460.

21.       Hogarth L., He Z., Chase H. W., Wills A. J., Troisi J., Ii, Leventhal A. M. et al. Negative mood reverses devaluation of goal-directed drug-seeking favouring an incentive learning account of drug dependence, Psychopharmacology 2015: 232: 3235-3247.

22.       Mathew A. R., Hogarth L., Leventhal A. M., Cook J. W., Hitsman B. Cigarette smoking and depression comorbidity: systematic review and proposed theoretical model, Addiction 2016.

23.       Hogarth L., Mathew A. R., Hitsman B. Current major depression is associated with greater sensitivity to the motivational effect of both negative mood induction and abstinence on tobacco-seeking behavior, Drug Alcohol Depend 2017: in press.


BSc hons 1st, Sussex,
PhD, Cambridge


I received my PhD from Cambridge University in 2000 for research on conditioning processes in human addiction supervised by Prof Anthony Dickinson. I then obtained two grants (Wellcome, BBSRC) supporting 7 years of postdoctoral research on attentional learning at Sussex University with Prof Theodora Duka. I obtained a lectureship at Nottingham University in 2007 and shortly after was awarded an MRC young investigators award for 3 years of research on individual differences in associative learning underlying addiction vulnerability. I took up a Senior Lectureship at the University of New South Wales (UNSW), Australia, in 2012, under the academic lead of Prof Simon Killcross. Finally, I returned home in 2013 to take up an Associate Professorship at Exeter University under the academic lead of Prof. Ian McLaren.


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Contact details

Internal tel4613
Tel+44 (0) 1392 724613
AddressWashington Singer Laboratories
University of Exeter
Perry Road
Prince of Wales Road

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