The research of Professor Rowan (in collaboration with Prof Anwyl of TCD) focuses on understanding brain mechanisms underlying normal behaviour and neurological and psychiatric diseases, including Alzheimer's disease. Special emphasis is placed on understanding synaptic transmissioin and synaptic plasticity, i.e. how communication between neurones can be strengthened or weakened persistently.
These studies use electrophysiological, pharmacological and behavioural techniques mainly in animals. We have uncovered how neurotransmitters, including glutamate and 5-hydroxytryptamine (serotonin), and their receptors play a key role in memory mechanisms in the central nervous system, both in health and disease.