Wednesday, July 23, 2014


Congratulations! You have entered the world of my blog, Andrew's Psychology Archive.

I (Andrew Patrick Allen) am a psychological researcher interested in the psychology of stress, cognition, drugs effects (e.g. alcohol/hangover), foodstuffs (e.g. probiotics), the brain-gut axis, behavioral economics, philosophy of mind and a host of other fascinating aspects of human experience.

I am currently working in University College Cork (UCC), working with a multidisciplinary group investigating the brain-gut axis. With the Department of Psychiatry at UCC I am also doing some work looking at depression biomarkers (e.g. the cortisol awakening response, a rise in the stress hormone cortisol following awakening that is altered by different forms of depression) and how these might be affected by treatments for depression.

Should be bringing you plenty of ideas concerning my research as well as that of others over the coming months, maybe years. Stay tuned.


  1. Interesting... So what is the gut-brain axis??

  2. The brain-gut axis refers to communication between the gastrointestinal tract and the central nervous system. The vagus nerve is one likely mediator of this brain-gut communication; animal research has indicated that vagotomy (i.e. severing of the vagus nerve) seems to abolish probiotic effects. Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a likely clinical example of the interaction between the gastrointestinal tract and central nervous system; symptoms include abdominal pain and altered bowel habit, and IBS is associated with higher rates of psychological disorder (e.g. depression) as well as subtle changes in cognitive performance.