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Senior Investigator

Alex Martin, Ph.D.

Laboratory of Brain and Cognition
Building 10 Room 4C-104
10 Center Drive MSC1366
Bethesda MD 20892
Office: (301) 435-4926

Fax: (301) 402-0921

Dr. Martin received his B.A. degree from the City College of New York and his Ph.D. from the City University of New York. He did his postdoctoral work at the NINDS on the breakdown of language and memory processes in Alzheimer's disease. In 1985 he joined the faculty of the Uniform Services University of the Health Sciences where he studied cognitive dysfunction associated with HIV infection. In 1990 he moved to the NIMH where he continued his work on cognitive abnormalities in neurologic and neuropsychiatric disorders and began functional brain imaging studies on the neural substrate of cognition. Dr. Martin is an elected fellow of the American Psychological Society and the American Psychological Association. His laboratory uses functional magnetic resonance imaging to study the neural systems mediating different aspects of memory, language, and perception.

Our research program uses functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to study the neural structures associated acquiring, storing, and retrieving memories. The program concentrates on three memory domains. The first domain focuses on semantic memory, the part of long-term memory composed of general information, such as facts, ideas, and the meaning of objects and words. We are particularly interested in characterizing the neural substrate mediating object and word meaning and its role in object perception. We are also interested in understanding how abstract forms of knowledge, such as knowledge of social interactions, are represented. The second domain focuses on repetition priming, a form of implicit learning not dependent on conscious retrieval of prior events. These studies concentrate on characterizing changes in neural activity associated with perceptual skill learning to provide a model system for studying cortical plasticity. The third domain, episodic memory, is an explicit form of memory that involves conscious recollection of a specific past experience. These studies concentrate on identifying the brain structures unique to this form information retrieval.

Section on Cognitive Neuropsychology Website:

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  • Brenna Argall, B.S.
    Research Assistant

  • Michael Beauchamp, Ph.D.
    Senior Research Fellow

  • Ricardo Gil Da Costa
    Research Assistant

  • Jessica Gilbert, M.A.
    Research Assistant

  • Jill Weisberg
    Research Assistant
    (301) 435-4943

  • Thalia Wheatley, Ph.D.
    Postdoctoral Fellow

  • Cheri Wiggs, Ph.D.
    Adjunct Investigator

  • 1) Beauchamp MS, Lee KE, Haxby JV, Martin A (2002)
  • Parallel visual motion processing streams for manipulable objects and human movements
  • Neuron, 34, 149-159
  • 2) M van Turennout, T Ellmore, A Martin (2000)
  • Long-lasting cortical plasticity in the object naming system
  • Nature Neuroscience, 3, 139-1334
  • 3) LL Chao, JV Haxby, A Martin (1999)
  • Attribute-based neural substrates in temporal cortex for perceiving and knowing about objects
  • Nature Neuroscience, 2, 913-919
  • 4) A Martin, CL Wiggs, LG Ungerleider, JV Haxby (1996)
  • Neural correlates of category-specific knowledge
  • Nature, 379, 649-652
  • 5) A Martin, JV Haxby, FM Lalonde, CL Wiggs, LG Ungerleider (1995)
  • Discrete cortical regions associated with knowledge of color and knowledge of action
  • Science, 270, 102-105
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