Associate Professor, CBB Area Head

Derek Hamilton, Associate Professor, Area Head Cognition, Brain & Behavior

Photo: true

Office Location: Logan Hall Rm 166
Phone: (505) 277-3060
Personal Website:
Curriculum Vitae and Publications

Research Area

Cognition, Brain and Behavior

Research Interests

  • Behavioral and neurobiological consequences of prenatal ethanol exposure
  • Neurobiology of learning and memory
  • Social behavior
  • Spatial navigation
  • Synaptic plasticity and structural plasticity

Selected Publications

  • Hamilton, D.A., Barto, D., Rodriguez, C.I., Magcalas, C., Fink, B.C., Rice, J.P., Bird, C.W., Davies, S., & Savage, D.D. (2014). Effects of moderate prenatal ethanol exposure and age on social behavior, spatial response perseveration errors and motor behavior. Behavioural Brain Research, 269, 44-54.
  • Clark, B.J., Rice, J.P., Akers, K.G., Candelaria-Cook, F.T., Taube, J.S., & Hamilton, D.A. (2013). Lesions of the dorsal tegmental nuclei impair performance in cued, place, and directional variants of the Morris water task. Behavioral Neuroscience, 127, 566-581.
  • Rice, J.P., Suggs, L.E., Candelaria-Cook, F.T., Akers, K.G. Lusk, A.V., Parker, M., Savage, D.D., & Hamilton, D.A. (2012). Effects of exposure to moderate levels of ethanol during prenatal brain development on dendritic length, branching, and spine density in the nucleus accumbens and dorsal striatum of adult rats. Alcohol, 46, 577-584.
  • Knierim, J.J., & Hamilton, D.A. (2011). Framing spatial cognition: Neural representations of proximal and distal reference frames and their role in navigation. Physiological Reviews, 91, 1245-1279.
  • Hamilton, D.A., Akers, K.G., Rice, J.P., Johnson, T.E., Candelaria-Cook, F.T., Maes, L.I., Rosenberg, M., Valenzuela, C.F., & Savage, D.D. (2010). Prenatal exposure to moderate levels of ethanol alters social behavior in adult rats: Relationship to structural plasticity and immediate early gene expression in frontal cortex. Behavioural Brain Research, 207, 290-304.

Courses Taught

  • Psychology 240 : Brain and Behavior

  • Psychology 260 : Psychology of Learning and Memory

  • Psychology 347/547 : Drugs and Behavior

  • Psychology 540 : Biological Bases of Behavior


Post-doctoral Fellow:

Clark Bird, Ph.D.

Graduate Students:

Daniel Barto

Spatial discrimination learning

Carlos Rodriguez

Effects of fetal ethanol exposure on functional network connectivity 

Christy Magcalas

The role of glutamatergic receptors in frontal cortex function and related behaviors.

If you are interested in pursuing graduate studies with Dr. Hamilton please contact him by email.