Dr Sharon Morein-Zamir

Senior Lecturer

Faculty:Faculty of Science and Engineering

Department:School of Psychology and Sport Science

Location: Cambridge

Areas of Expertise: Brain & Cognition

Sharon’s research investigates the control of actions and thoughts, as it relates to disorders of compulsivity and impulsivity.


View Sharon's profile at Cambridge Neuroscience

View Sharon's Google Scholar Citations  


Sharon’s research aims to better characterize how individuals control their behaviour and mental processes, and to understand the mechanisms underlying lack of control and the implications of the resulting impairments. Sharon has examined the control of actions and attention in healthy individuals and in clinical groups characterised by impaired control processes, such as individuals with increased compulsivity (eg, with OCD or hoarding disorder) or impulsivity (eg, in ADHD or stimulant drug users). She investigates behavioural mechanisms and neural correlates related to control and attention across numerous behavioural paradigms, effector systems, and taking a transdiagnostic approach across different patient groups.

Research interests

  • Cognitive control and executive functioning –  control of thoughts, attention and behaviour including response inhibition and cognitive flexibility.
  • Certainty seeking behaviors such as  checking and how these are influenced by stress
  • Cognitive control and impulsivity in ADHD
  • Cognitive control and impulsivity in stimulant users
  • Compulsive behaviour and obsessive thinking in OCD

Sharon is a member of our Executive Function Research Area which forms part of our Brain and Cognition Research Group.

Areas of research supervision

  • Cognition using quantitative research techniques
  • Emotion, motivation and executive functioning
  • Experimental studies of coping with uncertainty

Find out more about our Psychology PhD.


Sharon teaches on the postgraduate modules Quantitative Research Methods and Developmental Psychopathology - and, at undergraduate level, Learning, Memory & Perception, and Research Techniques for Psychology.


  • MA and PhD Psychology, University of British Columbia, Canada
  • BA and MA Cognitive Psychology, University of Ben-Gurion, Israel

Research grants, consultancy, knowledge exchange

British Academy Leverhulme Small Research Grants – £10K

Selected recent publications

Morein-Zamir S, Voon V, Dodds CM, Sule A, van Niekerk J, Sahakian BJ, Robbins TW (2016) Differential functional abnormalities associated with stopping and shifting in Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. Psychological Medicine, 46, pp. 829-40.

Morein-Zamir S, Simon Jones P, Bullmore ET, Robbins TW, Ersche KD (in press) Take it or leave it: prefrontal control in recreational cocaine users. Translational Psychiatry 

Morein-Zamir S & Robbins TW (2015) Role of cortical-subcortical circuits in response inhibition: relevance to addiction. Brain Research, 1628, pp. 117-29

Morein-Zamir, S., Dodds, C., van Hartevelt, T.J., Schwarzkopf, W., Sahakian, B., Muller, U. and Robbins, T., 2014. Hypoactivation in right inferior frontal cortex is specifically associated with motor response inhibition in adult ADHD. Hum Brain Mapp, 35, pp.5141-52.

Morein-Zamir, S., Papmeyer, M., Pertusa, A., Chamberlain, S.R., Fineberg, N.A., Sahakian, B.J., Mataix-Cols, D. and Robbins, T.W., 2014. The profile of executive function in OCD hoarders and hoarding disorder. Psychiatry Res, 215, pp.659-67.

Morein-Zamir, S., Papmeyer, M., Durieux, A., Fineberg, N.A., Sahakian, B.J. and Robbins, T.W., 2013. Investigation of attentional bias in obsessive compulsive disorder with and without depression in visual search. PLoS One, 8, e80118.

Morein-Zamir, S., Papmeyer, M., Gillan, C.M., Crockett, M.J., Fineberg, N.A., Sahakian, B.J. and Robbins, T.W., 2013. Punishment promotes response control deficits in obsessive-compulsive disorder: evidence from a motivational go/no-go task. Psychol Med, 43, pp.391-400.

Morein-Zamir, S., Simon Jones, P., Bullmore, E.T., Robbins, T.W. and Ersche, K.D., 2013. Prefrontal hypoactivity associated with impaired inhibition in stimulant-dependent individuals but evidence for hyperactivation in their unaffected siblings. Neuropsychopharmacology, 38, pp.1945-53.

Morein-Zamir, S., Fineberg, N.A., Robbins, T.W. and Sahakian, B.J., 2010. Inhibition of thoughts and actions in obsessive-compulsive disorder: extending the endophenotype? Psychol Med, 40, pp.263-72.

Morein-Zamir, S. and Sahakian, B.J., 2010. Neuroethics and public engagement training needed for neuroscientists. Trends Cogn Sci, 14, pp.49-51.

Morein-Zamir, S., Craig, K.J., Ersche, K.D., Abbott, S., Muller, U., Fineberg, N.A., Bullmore, E.T., Sahakian, B.J. and Robbins, T.W., 2010. Impaired visuospatial associative memory and attention in obsessive compulsive disorder but no evidence for differential dopaminergic modulation. Psychopharmacology (Berl), 212, pp.357-67.

Morein-Zamir, S., Hommersen, P., Johnston, C. and Kingstone, A., 2008. Novel measures of response performance and inhibition in children with ADHD. J Abnorm Child Psychol, 36, pp.1199-210.

Morein-Zamir, S., Chua, R., Franks, I., Nagelkerke, P. and Kingstone, A., 2007. Predictability influences stopping and response control. J Exp Psychol Hum Percept Perform, 33, pp.149-62.

Morein-Zamir, S. and Kingstone, A., 2006. Fixation offset and stop signal intensity effects on saccadic countermanding: a crossmodal investigation. Exp Brain Res, 175, pp.453-62.

Morein-Zamir, S., Henik, A., Balas, M. and Soroker, N., 2005. Differential processing of word and color in unilateral spatial neglect. Brain Res Cogn Brain Res, 23, pp.259-69.

Morein-Zamir, S. and Meiran, N., 2003. Individual stopping times and cognitive control: converging evidence for the stop signal task from a continuous tracking paradigm. Q J Exp Psychol A, 56, pp.469-89.

Morein-Zamir, S., Soto-Faraco, S. and Kingstone, A., 2003. Auditory capture of vision: examining temporal ventriloquism. Brain Res Cogn Brain Res 17, 154-63.

Sahakian, B. & Morein-Zamir, S. (2007). Professor's little helper. Nature, 450, pp.1157-59.

Scheres, A., Oosterlaan, J., Geurts, H., Morein-Zamir, S., Meiran, N., Schut, H., Vlasveld, L. and Sergeant, J.A., 2004. Executive functioning in boys with ADHD: primarily an inhibition deficit? Arch Clin Neuropsychol, 19, pp.569-94.