Combined Antidepressant and Behavioural Intervention (CABIN) Study


In person





Time commitment

One pre-screening questionnaire and 6 study appointments, most of them remote:
- Pre-screening questionnaire (remote, 5-10 min)
- Part 1 screening (remote, 1.5h)
- Part 2 screening (in person, 1.5h)
- Tasks, questionnaires + behavioural activation session 1 (remote, up to 3h, can be split over 2 days)
- Follow-up call + behavioural activation session 2 (remote, up to 45 min)
- Follow-up call + behavioural activation session 3 (remote, up to 45 min)
- Tasks, questionnaires + end of study feedback (remote, 1.5h)

Rewards and expenses

£150 for completing the study, plus any winnings from computer tasks. Reasonable travel expenses are also reimbursed.

About the study

In this study, we want to compare the short-term effects of citalopram (a widely prescribed antidepressant) and placebo (a substance that has no therapeutic effect) on the way people process emotional information in facial expressions and words. Our previous research showed that volunteers experiencing low mood and taking antidepressants experience emotional information differently; for example, they focus on positive facial expressions more than on negative ones.

In addition to either citalopram or placebo, participants in our study might also receive training in a psychological intervention called “behavioural activation”, which aims to increase positive activities in your life (based on your own preferences). We are interested in whether adding this training leads to further changes in the way in which people process emotional information, as there is growing scientific evidence that people’s levels of activity interact with treatments they may receive for their low mood, such as antidepressant medication.

We hope that the results of this study will help us better understand the way in which pharmacological and psychological treatments for low mood affect the brain, and lead to better personalised treatment in the future.

What will it involve?

Before being included in the study, we will ensure that you meet all our safety criteria. We will first ask you to complete a short pre-screening questionnaire asking about your current mood. If you are eligible, we will invite you to schedule a two-part screening visit with one of our study researchers. The study researcher will go over your medical and psychiatric background in more detail.

If you meet all the safety criteria, we will ask you to take a capsule every day for 14 days. The capsules might contain a placebo (inactive substance) or a commonly used antidepressant called citalopram. During the two weeks, you might also receive three sessions behavioural activation training. Before and after the study intervention, we will ask you to complete a series of computer tasks and questionnaires.

Apart from one screening visit, all study appointments can be completed remotely.

To read more about the study and complete pre-screening questionnaire, please copy and paste the following link into your browser:

This study is no longer accepting applications