Professor Gavan P. McNally

Professor Gavan P. McNally

Professor Gavan P. McNally


BSc (Hon), PhD UNSW

Contact details

Phone: (02) 9385 3044
Email: Professor Gavan P. McNally
Fax: (02) 9385 3641

Office: Mathews, Room 512

Research Summary

Research Lab:

My research is concerned with the fundamental psychological and brain mechanisms for associative learning and motivation and how these apply to clinical conditions such as addictions, anxiety disorders, and mood disorders.


PSYC 2081 Learning & Physiological Psychology

PSYC3051 Physiological Psychology

NEUR2201 Neuroscience Fundamentals


For a full list see my Research Lab:

Choi, E.A. & McNally, G.P. (2017). Paraventricular thalamus balances danger and reward. The Journal of Neuroscience, in press.

Prasad, A.A. & McNally, G.P. (2016). Ventral pallidum output pathways in context-induced reinstatement of alcohol seeking. The Journal of Neuroscience, 36, 11716-11726.

Sengupta, A. Winters, B., Bagley, E.E., & McNally, G.P. (2016). Disrupted prediction error links excessive amygdala activation to excessive fear. The Journal of Neuroscience, 36, 385-395.

Yau, J.Y. & McNally, G.P. (2015). Pharmacogenetic excitation of prefrontal cortex neurons restores fear prediction error. The Journal of Neuroscience, 35, 74-83.

Bagley E.E., Hacker J., Chefer, V.I., Mallet, C., McNally G.P., Chieng, B.C.H. Perroud, J., Shippenberg, T.S., & Christie M.J. (2011). Drug-induced GABA transporter currents enhance GABA release and produce opioid withdrawal behaviors. Nature Neuroscience, 14, 1548-1554.

McNally, G.P., Johansen, J., & Blair, H.T. (2011). Placing prediction into the fear circuit. Trends in Neurosciences, 34, 283 - 292.

Marchant, N.J., Furlong, T.M., & McNally, G.P. (2010). Medial dorsal hypothalamus mediates the inhibition of reward seeking after extinction.  The Journal of Neuroscience, 30, 14102-14115.

Marchant, N., Hamlin, A.S., & McNally, G.P.  (2009). Lateral hypothalamus is required for context-induced reinstatement of reward seeking. The Journal of Neuroscience, 29, 1331-1342.

Millan, Z., Furlong, T.M., & McNally, G.P. (2010). Accumbens shell –hypothalamus interactions mediate extinction of reward seeking. The Journal of Neuroscience, 30, 4626 – 4635.

Iordanova, M., McNally, G.P., & Westbrook, R.F. (2006). Opioid receptors in the nucleus accumbens regulate attentional learning in the blocking paradigm. The Journal of Neuroscience, 26, 4036-4045. 

McNally, G.P., Pigg, M., & Weidemann, G. (2004). Opioid receptors in the midbrain periaqueductal gray matter regulate the extinction of Pavlovian fear conditioning. The Journal of Neuroscience, 24, 6912-6919.

Awards, Fellowships & Grants


Pavlovian Research Award (Pavlovian Society)
Rising Star (Association for Psychological Science)


Fellow, The Association for Psychological Science

Affiliations & Memberships

Current Editorial Positions:

  • Associate Editor – The Journal of Neuroscience
  • Associate Editor - Neurobiology of Learning & Memory
  • Consulting Editor – Behavioral Neuroscience
  • Consulting Editor – Journal of Experimental Psychology: Animal Behavior Processes

Current Research Students

see Research Lab: