Associate Professor, CBB Area Head

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

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Office Location: Logan Hall Rm 166
Phone: (505) 277-8897
Personal Website:
Lab Website:
Curriculum Vitae and Publications

Research Area

Cognition, Brain and Behavior

Research Interests

  • Neurobiology of learning and memory
  • Spatial navigation
  • Social behavior
  • Synapse placticity and structural plasticity
  • Pharmacology
  • Effects of fetal ethanol exposure
  • Functional neuroimaging and functional network connectivity

Selected Publications

  • 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.

  • Hamilton, D.A., Johnson, T.E., Redhead, E.S., & Verney, S.P. (2009). Control of human and rodent navigation by room and apparatus cues. Behavioural Processes, 81, 154-169.

  • Hamilton, D.A., Akers, K.G., Johnson, T.E., Rice, J.P., Candelaria, F.T., Sutherland, R.J., Weisend, M.P., & Redhead, E.S. (2008). The relative influence of place and direction in the Morris water task. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Animal Behavior Processes, 34, 31-53.

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:

Jim Rice

Effects of fetal ethanol exposure on the neurobiology of reward processing

Felicha Candelaria

Cannabinoids and memory

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.

Likelihood of accepting a new graduate student for the Fall 2013 semester is medium. Good
GREs and academic performance are expected, however, greater emphasis is placed on
research experience, publications/presentations, and letters of reference.