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Dr Ellie Dommett

Dr Ellie Dommett

Honorary Associate

The Open University Faculty of Science Department of Life, Health & Chemical Sciences


I joined the Open University in January of 2009 as a Lecturer in Psychology.

Prior to this I completed my first degree in Psychology at Sheffield University before undertaking an MSc in Neuroscience at the Institute of Psychiatry in London. After my MSc I returned to Sheffield University to complete a doctorate in Neuroscience under the supervision of Prof Paul Overton and Prof Peter Redgrave. During this period I became an Open University tutor, teaching Biological Psychology. Once my PhD was complete I moved to Oxford to take up a post doctoral position at the Dept of Pharmacology. During this three year period I also held a Junior Research Fellowship at Somerville College, Oxford and began a Stipendiary Lectureship in Neuroscience at Lady Margaret Hall. After moving to the OU I continued as a visiting academic at Oxford University until December 2012. In February 2010 I was accepted as a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy. 


BSc Psychology (Sheffield University)

MSc Neuroscience (Institute of Psychiatry, King's College London)

PhD "Sensory regulation of midbrain dopaminergic neurons" (Sheffield University)

PCHE (Sheffield University)

Teaching Interests

My teaching interests are largely in the field of biological psychology and neuroscience and I am involved in the following courses currently running:

SDK125: Introducing Health Sciences

SD226: Biological Psychology

SD329: Signals and Perception - The science of the senses

SDK228: The Science of the Mind: Investigating Mental Health

 As well as being involved centrally on these OU courses, I am also a tutor on SDK125 and SD329.

Research Interests

My main research interest is in the neuropathology underlying Attention deficit Hyperactivity Disorder and the mechanisms of action that make drugs such as methylphenidate and atomoxetine effective in treating the disorder. In terms of techniques, the majority of my work using electrophysiology and behavioural testing. I currently collaborate with Dr Claire Rostron at the OU and Prof Paul Overton at Sheffield University.

Current Research Projects

An investigation into the efficacy of atomoxetine in ameliorating individual symptoms of ADHD: an evidence-based approach to subtype-specific treatment

[Research grant funded by the Brain and Behaviour Research Foundation]

Investigating sensory and motor deficits in rodent models of disease

[PhD studentship for Louise Brace funded by the Open University]




Journal Article
Rostron, Claire ; Kaplan, Elise; Gaeta, Victoria; Nigriello, Rachel and Dommett, Ellie (2013). The effects of methylphenidate on cognitive performance of healthy male rats. Frontiers in Neuroscience, 7(97),
Turner, Michael; Wilding, Emma; Cassidy, Emmet and Dommett, Eleanor J. (2013). Effects of atomoxetine on locomotor activity and impulsivity in the spontaneously hypertensive rat. Behavioural Brain Research, 243 pp. 28–37.
Dommett, Eleanor J. and Rostron, Claire L. (2013). Appetitive and consummative responding for liquid sucrose in the spontaneously hypertensive rat model of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. Behavioural Brain Research, 238(1), pp. 232–242.
Dommett, Eleanor J. and Rostron, Claire L. (2011). Abnormal air righting behaviour in the spontaneously hypertensive rat model of ADHD. Experimental Brain Research, 215(1), pp. 45–52.
Dommett, Eleanor J. ; Devonshire, Ian M.; Plateau, Carolyn R.; Westwell, Martin S. and Greenfield, Susan A. (2011). From scientific theory to classroom practice. The Neuroscientist, 17(4), pp. 382–388.
Halliday, Amy C.; Devonshire, Ian M.; Greenfield, Susan A. and Dommett, Eleanor J. (2010). Teaching medical students basic neurotransmitter pharmacology using primary research resources. Advances in Physiology Education, 34(4), pp. 205–212.
Coizet, V.; Dommett, E. J. ; Klop, E. M.; Redgrave, P. and Overton, P. G. (2010). The parabrachial nucleus is a critical link in the transmission of short latency nociceptive information to midbrain dopaminergic neurons. Neuroscience, 168(1), pp. 263–272.
Devonshire, Ian M. and Dommett, Eleanor J. (2010). Neuroscience: viable applications in education? The Neuroscientist, 16(4), pp. 349–56.
Devonshire, Ian M.; Grandy, Thomas H.; Dommett, Eleanor J. and Greenfield, Susan A. (2010). Effects of urethane anaesthesia on sensory processing in the rat barrel cortex revealed by combined optical imaging and electrophysiology. European Journal of Neuroscience, 32(5), pp. 786–97.
Dommett, E. J. ; Overton, P. G. and Greenfield, S. A. (2009). Drug therapies for attentional disorders alter the signal-to-noise ratio in the superior colliculus. Neuroscience, 164(3), pp. 1369–1376.
Devonshire, I. M.; Preston, M. J.; Dommett, E. J. ; Murphy, K. L. and Greenfield, S. A. (2009). Design and evaluation of a low-cost respiratory monitoring device for use with anaesthetized animals. Laboratory Animals, 43(4), pp. 382–389.
Dommett, Eleanor J. ; Henderson, Emma L.; Westwell, Martin S. and Greenfield, Susan A. (2008). Methylphenidate amplifies long-term plasticity in the hippocampus via noradrenergic mechanisms. Learning & Memory, 15(8), pp. 580–586.
Dommett, Eleanor J. and Leys, Katherine S. (2008). The digital microscope: a tool for teaching laboratory skills in distance learning courses. Journal of Undergraduate Neuroscience Education, 7(1), A9-A12.

Other Interests

As well as my principal research I am very interested in Neuroeducation - that is how we can use our understanding of the brain to develop teaching and learning practice. This interest has led me to co-author a Teacher's Pocketbook entitled 'Learning and the Brain' and become involved in the Education Section of the British Science Festival.

I am also heavily involved in public engagement, taking a leading role in departmental initiatives such as Brain Awareness Week and Biology Week events as well as visiting schools across the country to talk about the brain. I am also Recorder for the Education Section of the British Science Festival.


last updated 26-Feb-2014