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Principal Investigator

Photo of Dr. Yogita Chudasama

Yogita Chudasama, Ph.D.


Yogita Chudasama is Chief of the Section on Behavioral Neuroscience, and Director of the Rodent Behavioral Core. Dr. Chudasama received her B.Sc (Hons) in Applied Psychology in 1991 and her Ph.D in 1995, both from Cardiff University, Wales, UK. Her Ph.D. was under the mentorship of Dr. Janice Muir where she studied prefrontal and thalamic contributions to learning, memory and attention. Her first postdoctoral fellowship (1998-2002) was in the Department of Experimental Psychology, University of Cambridge UK, with Prof. Trevor Robbins investigating psychopharmacological mechanisms of prefrontal cognitive function. Her second postdoctoral fellowship (2003-2006) was in the Laboratory of Neuropsychology at NIMH with Dr. Elisabeth Murray examining the emotional and cognitive contributions of the prefrontal cortex and temporal lobe. She was then recruited by McGill University in Montreal, Canada, and joined the faculty in the Psychology Department (2007-2015) where she established the Laboratory of Brain and Behavior. In Nov 2015, Dr. Chudasama joined the faculty in the Intramural Research Program (IRP) at the National Institute of Mental Health.

Research Interests

Dr. Chudasama has had a long standing interest in functional neuroanatomy, and specifically elucidating the brain mechanisms underlying the control of executive function, which are both central to human cognitive behavior and adversely affected in psychiatric disorders. Her laboratory focuses on the cognitive effects of manipulating particular brain circuits, and is at the forefront in state-of-the-art behavioral testing. While her laboratory pursues basic science questions, Dr. Chudasama’s work places a strong emphasis on translation to understanding human brain circuits, cognition, and dysfunction observed in mental disorders. Recently, work in her work has extended towards understanding the relationship between executive dysfunction and socioemotional dysregulation. Currently, her lab is actively investigating the network of forebrain and midbrain structures that not only steer complex executive behavior, but also regulates normal social development. To this end, Dr. Chudasama’s laboratory implements a range of methodologies including behavior, neuroanatomy and psychopharmacology, as well as viral and molecular genetics to provide us with a unique perspective on the detailed circuits that support executive behaviors that often go awry in human patients suffering from poor control over their decisions, memories, and actions.

Selected Publications

Hippocampal interplay with nucleus accumbens is critical for decisions about time . Abela AR, Duan Y, Chudasama Y (2015). European Journal of Neuroscience. 42:2224-2233

Advances in understanding mechanisms of thalamic relays in cognition and behavior . Mitchell AS. Sherman SM, Sommer MA, Mair RG, Vertes RP, Chudasama Y (2014). Journal of Neuroscience. 34:15340-15346

Noradrenergic 2a-receptor stimulation of the ventral hippocampus modulates impulsive decision-making. Abela AR, Chudasama Y (2014). Psychopharmacology. 231:521-531

Viral tracing identifies parallel disynaptic pathways to the hippocampus. Prasad JA, Chudasama Y (2013). Journal of Neuroscience. 33:8494-8503

Inhibitory control deficits in rats with ventral hippocampal lesions. Abela AR, Dougherty SD, Fagen ED, Hill CJR, Chudasama Y (2013). Cerebral Cortex. 23:1396-1409

Hippocampal-prefrontal cortical circuit mediates inhibitory response control in the rat. Chudasama Y, Doobay, VM, Liu Y (2012). Journal of Neuroscience. 32:10915-10924

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