Why do things feel effortful?


Why do we get fatigued? 

Why can motivation become impaired through ageing and in brain disorders?


Our group examines the role of fronto-striatal systems in the brain, their computations and the contributions of different brain chemicals underlying healthy and disrupted motivation.

Why is social cognition demanding?

When do we decide to be altruistic and help others out?

How do we predict how motivated others are?

Our research dissects the contributions of different prefrontal regions, their computations and pharmacological basis of the processes that underlie 'social motivation'.

November 2020

Matt wins BACN prize!

Matt has been awarded the 2021 British Association for Cognitive Neuroscience prize for early and mid-career scientists

October 2020

The lab is growing!

We have four new members of the lab, including MSc, BSc and PhDs students. The lab offers our warmest welcome to Katia, Alice, Danielle, and Lucy.

July 2020

MSN Lab has moved!

The lab is now based at the Centre for Human Brain Health, University of Birmingham, UK. We are excited to continue our research at this fantastic facility.

MSN lab awarded £20k Wellcome ISSF grant to probe the psychiatric and neural basis of social foraging

October 2019

MSN Lab is moving!

From summer 2020 the lab will be based at the Centre for Human Brain Health, University of Birmingham, UK.

Tanja was interviewed by National Public Radio (NPR) for her opinion on new research on over training in athletes, as it draws on her expertise in motivational fatigue. Read about and listen to it here

July 2019

Dr.Uri Hertz and Dr. Matt Apps awarded British Council UK-Israel synergy programme grant, to organise a 2-day meeting on the topic of Social motivation to foster connections between UK and Israeli based scientists

MSN lab awarded a Christ Church Research Centre grant, for Dr. Apps and Dr. Gabay  to develop a predictive model of social behaviours using a transdiagnostic approach.

MSN lab awarded a John Fell Fund grant to use behavioural ecology models to better understand human motivation. 

November 2018

Matt wins S4SN 2018 Early Career Award

Lab PI, Dr Matthew Apps, receives prestigious award that recognises the formation of new approaches or paradigms within a field of neuroscience