R. Alison Adcock, M.D., Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences Core Faculty, Center for Cognitive Neuroscience B253 Levine Science Research Center Duke University Box 90999 Durham, NC 27708
email: alison.adcock at duke.edu phone: (919) 681-7486 fax: (919) 681-0815
Dr. Adcock received her MD and PhD from Yale University. She completed a residency in psychiatry and a postdoctoral fellowship at University of California San Francisco, and is a diplomate of the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology. Download CV (pdf)
Betsy's research combines pharmacological manipulations in healthy participants with fMRI experiments in schizophrenia patients to study the mechanisms of reward-motivated memory in humans. The overall aims of her work are to contribute to a better understanding of the effects of dopaminergic function and dysfunction on memory in health and disease. Betsy completed her undergraduate studies at the University of South Carolina where she majored in chemistry and minored in mathematics. She received her MD from the University of Virginia before entering the neurobiology PhD program at Duke in pursuit of the primary goal of adding more letters to the end of her name.
Jeff MacInnes Graduate Student
When he's not delivering unsolicited lectures on the virtues of living in Michigan's Upper Peninsula, Jeff heads up a number of projects aimed at training individuals to self-induce cognitive states that are most conducive to memory formation. Most recently this is being approached with the use of real-time fMRI - which involves providing participants with real-time neurofeedback of activity within particular brain regions.
Courtnea Rainey Graduate Student
In the broadest sense, Courtnea is interested in improving educational outcomes. Within the context of the motivated memory lab, Courtnea investigates internal states as motivational signals that affect learning and behavioral change. Outside the lab, Courtnea organizes outreach activities and undergraduate research programs to improve science education outcomes in K-16 students.
A Bay Area girl having earned her undergraduate degrees in psychology and molecular and cell biology from UC Berkeley, Jessica has left the fog behind in pursuit of memory. Well, memory research that is. She is interested in using fMRI to study hippocampal and dopaminergic midbrain influences on the encoding of novelty and expectancy violation.
Nathan Clement Graduate Student
Nathan's research is focused on characterizing and manipulating states of intrinsic motivation and their relationship to learning, information-seeking, and choice behavior. In 2007, Nathan completed his undergraduate studies at Stanford University, where he majored in psychology. For the next three years, he worked at Columbia University before leaving the big city behind to start his graduate career at Duke. He enjoys coffee.
Mai-Anh Vu Graduate Student
Born-and-raised in Massachusetts, and having completed her undergraduate studies in Cognitive Science at Yale, Mai-Anh decided it was time to venture out of New England, and has since landed here in Durham. Mai-Anh worked in a few different brain labs during and after college, where she gained diverse research experiences: investigating the effects of stress and neuromodulators on prefrontal cortex function in rats, using fMRI to probe memory networks in humans, and using MRI and DTI to characterize brain and cognitive abnormalities in schizophrenia. These seem to be converging here at Duke, where Mai-Anh is pursuing learning and memory research in humans and rodents, under the mentorship of Dr. Alison Adcock and Dr. Kafui Dzirasa.
Jane Chen Research Assistant
Rithi Chandy Research Assistant
Sonal Gagrani Research Assistant
If you're potentially interested in joining the lab as a graduate student, research assistant or intern, contact Alison Adcock
Kathryn Dickerson Post-doc
My research interests lie at the intersection of human reward-related learning and memory formation, including understanding how reward and motivation influence memory processes. A particular interest is investigating the role of dopamine in mediating human memory formation, and the involvement of and connectivity between the multiple brain structures (medial temporal lobe, basal ganglia, prefrontal cortex, midbrain) during these processes. A second related question is examining how salient episodic experiences can influence future behavior, particularly in therapeutic contexts. In collaboration with several members of the Adcock lab, I am addressing these topics using real-time fMRI techniques in both healthy and patient populations as well as examining differences in learning in Parkinson's patients who are receiving deep brain stimulation of the subthalamic nucleus.
Kimberly Chiew Post-doc
Born and raised in Northwestern Ontario, Kim completed a BSc in neuroscience at University of Toronto and PhD in cognitive psychology at Washington University in St. Louis before continuing her trajectory south to Duke, where she started a postdoc in the Adcock lab in 2013. Kim's research has focused on examining emotional and motivational influences on cognition using a combination of behavioral, psychophysiological, and neuroimaging methods. In the Adcock lab, Kim is interested in continuing to examine motivational influences on goal-directed and exploratory behavior with a more explicit focus on the role of underlying neuromodulator systems, such as norepinephrine and dopamine.