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Principal Investigator

Alex Martin

Alex Martin, Ph.D.


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.

Research Interests

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.

Selected Publications

Fractionation of social brain circuits in autism spectrum disorders. Gotts SJ, Simmons WK, Milbury LA, Wallace GL, Cox RW, Martin A. Brain. 2012 Sep;135(Pt 9):2711-25. doi: 10.1093/brain/aws160. Epub 2012 Jul 11. PMID: 22791801.

Spontaneous resting-state BOLD fluctuations reveal persistent domain-specific neural networks. Simmons WK, Martin A. Soc Cogn Affect Neurosci. 2012 Apr;7(4):467-75. doi: 10.1093/scan/nsr018. Epub 2011 May 17. PMID: 21586527.

Age-related temporal and parietal cortical thinning in autism spectrum disorders. Wallace GL, Dankner N, Kenworthy L, Giedd JN, Martin A. Brain. 2010 Dec;133(Pt 12):3745-54. doi: 10.1093/brain/awq279. Epub 2010 Oct 5. PMID: 20926367.

The selectivity and functional connectivity of the anterior temporal lobes. Simmons WK, Reddish M, Bellgowan PS, Martin A. Cereb Cortex. 2010 Apr;20(4):813-25. doi: 10.1093/cercor/bhp149. Epub 2009 Jul 20. PMID: 19620621.

Face adaptation without a face. Ghuman AS, McDaniel JR, Martin A. Curr Biol. 2010 Jan 12;20(1):32-6. doi: 10.1016/j.cub.2009.10.077. PMID: 20022246.

Magnuson Clinical Center, Room 4C103, MSC 1366

Phone: +1 301 435 4926
Fax: +1 301 402 0921