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Senior Investigator

Elisabeth A. Murray, Ph.D.

Laboratory of Neuropsychology, NIMH
Building 49 Room IB80
49 Convent Drive MSC4415
Bethesda MD 20892-4415
Office: (301) 443-7401

Fax: (301) 402-0046

Dr. Murray received her B.S. from Bucknell University and her Ph.D. from the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston, where she studied the organization of corticospinal neurons. After postdoctoral work at the NIMH with Mort Mishkin studying the neural substrates of tactual learning and memory, she became a Staff Fellow and then a tenured faculty member within the Laboratory of Neuropsychology, NIMH. Dr. Murray was awarded the Demuth Swiss Medical Research Foundation Award for Young Investigators in the Neurosciences and a PHS Special Recognition Award. Dr. Murray's laboratory is studying the neural basis of learning and memory, including how object and spatial perceptions in the different sensory modalities are formed into memories, how they evoke emotions and motor acts, and how the stored information may be used to plan future actions.

The aim of my research program is to understand how information about objects and events is stored in the brain, how object representations are linked with one another to mediate associative memories and associative recall, and how object representations are linked to reward, emotion and to action. Recent work has addressed three main themes: (1) how the brain uses cognitive and affective information to guide decision making and response selection; (2) how the inferotemporal cortex, especially perirhinal cortex, contributes to visual perception and memory; and (3) the role of the hippocampus in spatial and nonspatial learning. The work makes use of selective cerebral lesions and disconnections, and takes advantage of state-of-the-art techniques, including MRI-guided stereotaxic surgery combined with injection of excitotoxins, and injection of receptor-targeted DNA constructs.

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  • Dawn Anuszkiewicz-Lundgren, B.S.
    Research Assistant
    (301) 443-8630

  • Ping-Yu Chen, B.S.
    Research Assistant
    (301) 443-7681

  • Emily Fiuzat
    Post baccalaureate Fellow

  • Emily Howland, B.A.
    Research Assistant

  • Chicora Oliver
    Post baccalaureate Fellow

  • Joshua Ripple
    Post baccalaureate Fellow

  • Peter Rudebeck, D.Phil.
    Fogarty Postdoctoral Fellow

  • Tianming Yang, Ph.D.
    Staff Scientist

  • Julie Zemskova
    Post baccalaureate Fellow

  • 1) Murray EA, Wise SP, Drevets WC (2011)
  • Localization of dysfunction in major depressive disorder: prefrontal cortex and amygdala.
  • Biological Psychiatry, 69, e43-54
  • 2) Rudebeck PH, and Murray EA (2011)
  • Dissociable effects of subtotal lesions within the macaque orbital prefrontal cortex on reward-guided behavior
  • Journal of Neuroscience, 31, 10569-10578
  • 3) Murray EA, and Wise SP (2010)
  • Interactions between orbital prefrontal cortex and amygdala: Advanced cognition, learned responses and instinctive behaviors.
  • Current Opinion in Neurobiology, 20, 210-220
  • 4) Izquierdo A, and Murray EA (2010)
  • Functional interaction of medial mediodorsal thalamic nucleus but not nucleus accumbens with amygdala and orbital prefrontal cortex is essential for adaptive response selection after reinforcer devaluation.
  • Journal of Neuroscience, 30, 661-669
  • 5) Chudasama Y, Izquierdo A, and Murray EA (2009)
  • Distinct contributions of the amygdala and hippocampus to fear expression.
  • European Journal of Neuroscience, 30, 2327-2337
  • 6) Murray EA, Izquierdo A (2007)
  • Orbitofrontal cortex and amygdala contributions to affect and action
  • New York Academy of Sciences, 1121, 273-296
  • 7) Murray EA, Bussey TJ, and Saksida LM (2007)
  • Visual perception and memory: a new view of medial temporal lobe function in primates and rodents
  • Annual Review of Neuroscience, 30, 99-122
  • 8) Murray EA (2007)
  • The amygdala, reward and emotion.
  • Trends in Cognitive Sciences, 11, 489-497
  • 9) Brasted PJ, Bussey TJ, Murray EA, and Wise SP (2005)
  • Conditional motor learning in the nonspatial domain: effects of errorless learning and the contribution of the fornix to one-trial learning
  • Behav Neurosci, 119, 662-676
  • 10) Barense MD, Bussey TJ, Lee ACH, Rogers TT, Davies RR, Saksida LM, Murray EA, and Graham KS (2005)
  • Functional specialization in the human medial temporal lobe
  • J Neurosci, 25, 10239-10246
  • 11) Murray EA, and Wise SP (2004)
  • What, if anything, is the medial temporal lobe, and how can the amygdala be part of it if there is no such thing?
  • Neurobiology of Learning and Memory, 82, 178-198
  • 12) Baxter MG and Murray EA (2002)
  • The amygdala and reward
  • Nat Rev Neurosci, 3, 563-73
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