Dr. Brigman received his B.A. in Psychology from Loyola University Maryland and went on to complete his Ph.D. in Cognitive Neuroscience from George Washington University.  His postdoctoral fellowship was in the Laboratory of Genomic and Behavioral Neuroscience in the NIAAA Intramural Program where he twice won the Fellows Award for Research Excellence. He established his research program in Department of Neurosciences at the University of New Mexico School of Medicine in 2011. He received a Regents’ Lectureship in 2016 for excellence in research, teaching and service and was promoted to Associate Professor with Tenure in 2017.

Areas of Specialty

Behavioral Neuroscience
Executive Control
Developmental Disorders
Translational measures of brain activity


PhD, Cognitive Neuroscience:
George Washington University
Washington D.C.

BA, Psycology:
Loyola University
Baltimore, MD

Achievements & Awards

  • Fellow, International Behavioral Neuroscience Society - 2018
  • Regents Lectureship, University of New Mexico HSC – 2016
  • Co-Founder and Faculty Organizer, New Mexico Brain Bee - 2015
  • Fellows Award for Research Excellence, National Institutes of Health – 2011 & 2008

Key Publications

  • Marquardt, K., Cavanagh, J.F. & Brigman, J.L. (2020). Alcohol exposure in utero disrupts cortico-striatal coordination required for behavioral flexibility. Neuropharmacology.162 PMCID in progress. 
  • Olguin, S.L., Thompson, S.M., Young, J.W. and Brigman, J.L. (in press).  Moderate prenatal alcohol exposure impairs cognitive control, but not attention, on a rodent touchscreen continuous performance task.  Genes, Brain and Behavior.
  • Marquardt, K., Josey, M., Kenton, J.A., Cavanagh, J.F., Holmes, A. & Brigman, J.L. (2019). Impaired cognitive flexibility following NMDAR-GluN2B deletion is associated with altered orbitofrontal-striatal function. Neuroscience. 404: 338-382 PMC6455963
  • Kenton, J.A., Castillo, R., Holmes A. & Brigman, J.L. (2018) Cortico-hippocampal GluN2B is essential for efficient visual-spatial discrimination learning in a touchscreen paradigm. Neurobiology of Learning and Memory. 156: 60-67 PMC6300131
  • Marquardt, K., Sigdel, R. & Brigman, J.L. (2017) Value encoding and signal propogation in the orbitofrontal cortex during touch-screen reversal learning. Neurobiology of Learning and Memory. 139 179-188. PMC5372695


He, Him


  • English


The focus of research in the Brigman Lab is to further our understanding of the maladaptive behavioral changes that accompany alcohol exposure, drug addiction and numerous neuropsychiatric disorders.  Current theories have proposed that early or repeated alcohol exposure can lead to progressive loss of cortically-mediated executive control. As top-top down control is lost, habitual patterns dominate the behavioral repertoire leading to decreased quality of life.  If this maladaptive shift in behavior could be prevented or reversed, it would provide an important therapeutic tool. Our research focuses on developing models that allow us to investigate the role of both genetic factors and molecular mechanisms in mediating executive control behaviors.  One potential mechanism of interest due to its established role in the neuro-plasticity underlying learning and memory is the glutamatergic N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor (NMDAR).  The Brigman Lab explores how NMDAR subunit composition and receptor expression is altered both by learning, and exposure.  Another major focus of the lab is understanding the optimal organization of neuronal firing in neural circuits in vivo, and how alterations in NMDAR may disrupt these patterns, leading to loss of executive control and poorer functional outcome.

Courses Taught

  • Principles of Neurobiology (BIOM509) - Course Director
  • Neurophysiology & Neuroanatomy (BIOM533) - Lecturer
  • Neurobiology of Alcoholism (BIOM505) - Lecturer
  • Statistical Methods (BIOM505) - Lecturer 
  • Neuroanatomy Laboratory - Course Director
  • Brain Stem Anatomy - Instructor
  • Functional Cortical Anatomy - Instructor
  • Limbic System & ARAS - Instructor
  • Mechanisms of Learning and Conditioning - Instructor