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Transforming the understanding
and treatment of mental illnesses.

Celebrating 75 Years! Learn More >>

Alex Martin

Alex Martin, Ph.D.

Research Topics

Our goal is to elucidate the neural circuitry associated with specific perceptual, memory, and social functions.  Functional brain imaging technologies - functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and magnetoencephalography (MEG) - are used to evaluate these functions in typically developing individuals and patients with neurological and neuropsychiatric disorders.  A major focus of our research is 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 circuits mediating object recognition and how this circuitry is modified by experience and learning. We are also interested in understanding how abstract forms of knowledge, such as information about social interactions, are represented in autism spectrum disorders and related conditions.


Dr. Martin received his B.A. from the City College of New York and his Ph.D. from the City University of New York. He did his post-doctoral work at the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke on the breakdown of language and memory processes in Alzheimer's disease. In 1985 he joined the faculty of the Uniformed 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 neurological and neuropsychiatric disorders. In 1997 Dr. Martin became the Chief of the Cognitive Neuropsychology Section, Laboratory of Brain and Cognition. Dr. Martin is an elected Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the American Psychological Society, and the American Psychological Association.

Selected Publications

Gilmore AW, Quach A, Kalinowski SE, Gonzalez-Araya EI, Gotts SJ, Schacter DL, Martin A (2021). Evidence supporting a time-limited hippocampal role in retrieving autobiographical memories. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 118. [Pubmed Link ]

Avery JA, Liu AG, Ingeholm JE, Gotts SJ, Martin A (2021). Viewing images of foods evokes taste quality-specific activity in gustatory insular cortex. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 118. [Pubmed Link ]

Martin A (2016). GRAPES-Grounding representations in action, perception, and emotion systems: How object properties and categories are represented in the human brain. Psychon Bull Rev 23, 979-90. [Pubmed Link ]

Gotts SJ, Jo HJ, Wallace GL, Saad ZS, Cox RW, Martin A (2013). Two distinct forms of functional lateralization in the human brain. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 110, E3435-44. [Pubmed Link ]

Simmons WK, Rapuano KM, Kallman SJ, Ingeholm JE, Miller B, Gotts SJ, Avery JA, Hall KD, Martin A (2013). Category-specific integration of homeostatic signals in caudal but not rostral human insula. Nat Neurosci 16, 1551-2. [Pubmed Link ]

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