Nandakumar Narayanan, MD, PhD

Assistant Director: Residency Program in Neurology
Assistant Director: Clinical Neuroscientist Training Program in Neurology
Specialty: Parkinson's Disease
Assistant Professor of Neurology

Contact Information

Primary Office: 1336 PBDB
Iowa City, IA 52242


BA, Human Biology, Stanford University
MD, Medicine, Yale University
PhD, Neuroscience, Yale University

Internship, Medicine, Hospital of St. Raphael
Resident, Neurology, Yale Medical School
Post Doctoral Fellow, Yale Medical School

Education/Training Program Affiliations

Interdisciplinary Graduate Program in Neuroscience

Center, Program and Institute Affiliations

Aging Mind and Brain Initiative

Research Summary

The specific problem we are interested is cognitive dysfunction in Parkinsons disease. Our current research focuses on the influence of dopamine on prefrontal networks controlling cognitive behaviors such as timing and performance monitoring. We combine ensemble recording from populations of neurons in awake, behaving animals with specific manipulations using techniques such as optogenetic stimulation, targeted pharmacology, or selective genetic disruption with RNA interference. We hope to identify new treatment strategies that can be translated to a clinical setting.


Narayanan, N., Laubach, M. (2017). Inhibitory Control: Mapping Medial Frontal Cortex. Current Biology, 27(4), R148–R150. DOI: 10.1016/j.cub.2017.01.010.

Narayanan, N., DiLeone, R. (2017). Lip Sync: Gamma Rhythms Orchestrate Top-Down Control of Feeding Circuits. Cell Metabolism, 25(3), 497–498. DOI: 10.1016/j.cmet.2017.02.017.

Kim, Y., Miller, A., Lins, L., Han, S., Keiser, M., Boudreau, R., Davidson, B. & Narayanan, N. (2017). RNA interference of human a-synuclein in mouse. Frontiers in Neurology, 8(JAN). DOI: 10.3389/fneur.2017.00013.

Parker, K., Kim, Y., Kelley, R., Nessler, A., Chen, K., Muller-Ewald, V., Andreasen, N. & Narayanan, N. (2017). Delta-frequency stimulation of cerebellar projections can compensate for schizophrenia-related medial frontal dysfunction.

Alberico, S. L., Kim, Y., Lence, T. & Narayanan, N. S. (2017). Axial levodopa-induced dyskinesias and neuronal activity in the dorsal striatum. Neuroscience, 343, 240-249. DOI: 10.1016/j.neuroscience.2016.11.046.

Kim, Y., Han, S., Alberico, S. L., Ruggiero, R. N., De Corte, B., Chen, K. & Narayanan, N. S. (2017). Optogenetic Stimulation of Frontal D1 Neurons Compensates for Impaired Temporal Control of Action in Dopamine-Depleted Mice. Current Biology, 27(1), 39-47. DOI: 10.1016/j.cub.2016.11.029.

Huff, M. L., Emmons, E. B., Narayanan, N. S. & LaLumiere, R. T. (2016). Basolateral amygdala projections to ventral hippocampus modulate the consolidation of footshock, but not contextual, learning in rats. Learning & memory (Cold Spring Harbor, N.Y.), 23(2), 51-60. PMID: 26773098.

Emmons, E. B., Narayanan, N. S. (In Press). Animal Models of Aging. In Rizzo , Anderson (Eds.) Aging Mind and Brain. Wiley.

Emmons, E. B., Ruggiero, R. N., Kelley, R. M., Parker, K. L. & Narayanan, N. S. (2016). Corticostriatal Field Potentials Are Modulated at Delta and Theta Frequencies during Interval-Timing Task in Rodents. Frontiers in Psychology, 7. DOI: 10.3389/fpsyg.2016.00459.

Parker, K. L., Kim, Y., Alberico, S. L., Emmons, E. B. & Narayanan, N. S. (2016). Optogenetic approaches to evaluate striatal function in animal models of Parkinson disease. Dialogues in clinical neuroscience, 18(1), 99-107. PMID: 27069384.

Messingham, K. A., Aust, S., Helfenberger, J., Parker, K. L., Schultz, S., McKillip, J., Narayanan, N. S. & Fairley, J. A. (2016). Autoantibodies to Collagen XVII Are Present in Parkinson’s Disease and Localize to Tyrosine-Hydroxylase Positive Neurons. Journal of Investigative Dermatology, 136(3), 721-723. DOI: 10.1016/j.jid.2015.12.005.

Johnson, S. B., Emmons, E. B., Anderson, R. M., Glanz, R. M., Romig-Martin, S. A., Narayanan, N. S., LaLumiere, R. T. & Radley, J. J. (2016). A Basal Forebrain Site Coordinates the Modulation of Endocrine and Behavioral Stress Responses via Divergent Neural Pathways. The Journal of neuroscience : the official journal of the Society for Neuroscience, 36(33), 8687-99. PMID: 27535914.

Cheng, R., Tipples, J., Meck, W. H. & Narayanan, N. S. (2016). Clock Speed as a Window into Dopaminergic Control of Emotion and Time Perception. Timing & Time Perception, 4(1), 99-122. DOI: 10.1163/22134468-00002064.

Chen, K., Okerstrom, K. L., Kingyon, J. R., Anderson, S. W., Cavanagh, J. F. & Narayanan, N. S. (2016). Startle Habituation and Midfrontal Theta Activity in Parkinson Disease. Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, 28(12), 1923-1932. DOI: 10.1162/jocn_a_01012.

Narayanan, N. S. (2016). Ramping activity is a cortical mechanism of temporal control of action. Current Opinion in Behavioral Sciences, 8, 226-230. DOI: 10.1016/j.cobeha.2016.02.017.

van den Heuvel, J. K., Furman, K., Gumbs, M. C., Eggels, L., Opland, D. M., Land, B. B., Kolk, S. M., S. Narayanan, N., Fliers, E., Kalsbeek, A., DiLeone, R. J. & la Fleur, S. E. (2015). Neuropeptide Y Activity in the Nucleus Accumbens Modulates Feeding Behavior and Neuronal Activity. Biological Psychiatry, 77(7), 633-641. DOI: 10.1016/j.biopsych.2014.06.008.

Laubach, M., Caetano, M. S. & Narayanan, N. S. (2015). Mistakes were made: Neural mechanisms for the adaptive control of action initiation by the medial prefrontal cortex. Journal of Physiology-Paris, 109(1-3), 104-117. DOI: 10.1016/j.jphysparis.2014.12.001.

Parker, K. L., Ruggiero, R. N. & Narayanan, N. S. (2015). Infusion of D1 Dopamine Receptor Agonist into Medial Frontal Cortex Disrupts Neural Correlates of Interval Timing. Frontiers in behavioral neuroscience, 9, 294. PMID: 26617499.

Alberico, S. L., Cassell, M. D. & Narayanan, N. S. (2015). The vulnerable ventral tegmental area in Parkinson’s disease. Basal Ganglia, 5(2-3), 51-55. DOI: 10.1016/j.baga.2015.06.001.

Kim, Y., Alberico, S. L., Emmons, E. & Narayanan, N. S. (2015). New therapeutic strategies targeting D1-type dopamine receptors for neuropsychiatric disease. Frontiers in Biology, 10(3), 230-238. DOI: 10.1007/s11515-015-1360-4.

De Jesús-Cortés, H., Miller, A. D., Britt, J. K., DeMarco, A. J., De Jesús-Cortés, M., Stuebing, E., Naidoo, J., Vázquez-Rosa, E., Morlock, L., Williams, N. S., Ready, J. M., Narayanan, N. S. & Pieper, A. A. (2015). Protective efficacy of P7C3-S243 in the 6-hydroxydopamine model of Parkinson's disease. npj Parkinson's Disease, 1, 15010. DOI: 10.1038/npjparkd.2015.10.

Kingyon, J., Behroozmand, R., Kelley, R., Oya, H., Kawasaki, H., Narayanan, N. & Greenlee, J. (2015). High-gamma band fronto-temporal coherence as a measure of functional connectivity in speech motor control. Neuroscience, 305, 15-25. DOI: 10.1016/j.neuroscience.2015.07.069.

Zhang, Q., Kim, Y. & Narayanan, N. S. (2015). Disease-modifying therapeutic directions for Lewy-Body dementias. Frontiers in Neuroscience, 9. DOI: 10.3389/fnins.2015.00293.

Parker, K. L., Chen, K. H., Kingyon, J. R., Cavanagh, J. F. & Narayanan, N. S. (2015). Medial frontal ~4-Hz activity in humans and rodents is attenuated in PD patients and in rodents with cortical dopamine depletion. Journal of neurophysiology, 114(2), 1310-20. PMID: 26133799.

Land, B., Narayanan, N., Liu, R., Gianessi, C., Brayton, C., M, G., Sarhan, M., Guarnieri, D., Deisseroth, K., Aghajanian, G. & Dileone, R. (2014). Medial prefrontal D1 dopamine neurons control food intake. Nature Neuroscience, 17(2), 248–253. DOI: 10.1038/nn.3625.

Parker, K. L., Chen, K., Kingyon, J. R., Cavanagh, J. F. & Narayanan, N. S. (2014). D1-Dependent 4 Hz Oscillations and Ramping Activity in Rodent Medial Frontal Cortex during Interval Timing. Journal of Neuroscience, 34(50), 16774-16783. DOI: 10.1523/jneurosci.2772-14.2014.

Parker, K. L., Narayanan, N. S. & Andreasen, N. C. (2014). The therapeutic potential of the cerebellum in schizophrenia. Frontiers in Systems Neuroscience, 8. DOI: 10.3389/fnsys.2014.00163.

Rodnitzky, R. L., Narayanan, N. S. (2014). Amantadine's role in the treatment of levodopa-induced dyskinesia. (Vols. 82). (4), pp. 288-289. Neurology. DOI: 10.1212/wnl.0000000000000068.

Sheriff, F., Narayanan, N. S., Huttner, A. J. & Baehring, J. M. (2014). Vogt-Koyanagi-Harada syndrome: A novel case and brief review of focal neurologic presentations. Neurology - Neuroimmunology Neuroinflammation, 1(4), e49. DOI: 10.1212/nxi.0000000000000049.

Lamichhane, D., Narayanan, N. & Gonzalez-Alegre, P. (2014). Two cases of pregnancy in Parkinson's disease. Parkinsonism & Related Disorders, 20(2), 239-240. DOI: 10.1016/j.parkreldis.2013.10.013.

Parker, K., Alberico, S., Miller, A. & Narayanan, N. (2013). Prefrontal D1 dopamine signaling is necessary for temporal expectation during reaction time performance. Neuroscience, 255, 246–254. DOI: 10.1016/j.neuroscience.2013.09.057.

Narayanan, N. S., Rodnitzky, R. L. & Uc, E. Y. (2013). Prefrontal dopamine signaling and cognitive symptoms of Parkinson’s disease. Reviews in the Neurosciences, 24(3). DOI: 10.1515/revneuro-2013-0004.

Parker, K. L., Lamichhane, D., Caetano, M. S. & Narayanan, N. S. (2013). Executive dysfunction in Parkinson’s disease and timing deficits. Frontiers in Integrative Neuroscience, 7. DOI: 10.3389/fnint.2013.00075.

Fattahi, P., Sheriff, F., Narayanan, N., Greer, D. M. & Schindler, J. (2013). Thrombolysis for acute stroke in patients with vasculitis: case report and literature discussion. Clinical neurology and neurosurgery, 115(3), 351-3. PMID: 22717602.

Greenlee, J., Behroozmand, R., Narayanan, N., Kingyon, J. R., Larson, C., Oya, H., Kawasaki, H. & Howard, M. A. (2013). Sensorimotor integration during human self-vocalization: Insights from invasive electrophysiology. The Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, 133(5), 3520-3520. DOI: 10.1121/1.4806311.

Narayanan, N. S., Cavanagh, J. F., Frank, M. J. & Laubach, M. (2013). Common medial frontal mechanisms of adaptive control in humans and rodents. Nature neuroscience, 16(12), 1888-95. PMID: 24141310.

Gummadavelli, A., Motelow, J. E. & Narayanan, N. S. (2013). Clinical Reasoning: A 64-year-old woman with progressive quadriparesis. Neurology, 81(12), e89-e94. DOI: 10.1212/wnl.0b013e3182a4a3f7.

Narayanan, N., Land, B. B., Solder, J. E., Deisseroth, K. & DiLeone, R. J. (2012). Prefrontal D1 dopamine signaling is required for temporal control. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 109(50), 20726-31. PMID: 23185016.

Salardini, A., Narayanan, N., Arora, J., Constable, T. & Jabbari, B. (2012). Ipsilateral synkinesia involves the supplementary motor area. Neuroscience letters, 523(2), 135-8. PMID: 22759337.

Narayanan, N., Sheriff, F. & Boyce, J. M. (2012). Teaching NeuroImages: CNS actinomycosis in an immunocompetent patient. Neurology, 79(10), e85. PMID: 22946120.

Dileone, R. J., Narayanan, N. S. & Guarnieri, D. J. (2012). Feeding as a Reward Mechanism. In P. J. Shiromani , T. Horvath & S. Redline , E. Van Carter (Eds.) Sleep Loss and Obesity: Intersecting Epidemics. pp. 47-60. DOI: 10.1007/978-1-4614-3492-4_4.

Prabhakaran, V., Rypma, B., Narayanan, N., Meier, T. B., Austin, B. P., Nair, V. A., Naing, L., Thomas, L. E. & Gabrieli, J. D. (2011). Capacity-speed relationships in prefrontal cortex. PloS one, 6(11), e27504. PMID: 22132105.

Sears, R. M., Liu, R. J., Narayanan, N., Sharf, R., Yeckel, M. F., Laubach, M., Aghajanian, G. K. & DiLeone, R. J. (2010). Regulation of nucleus accumbens activity by the hypothalamic neuropeptide melanin-concentrating hormone. The Journal of neuroscience : the official journal of the Society for Neuroscience, 30(24), 8263-73. PMID: 20554878.

Narayanan, N., Guarnieri, D. J. & DiLeone, R. J. (2010). Metabolic hormones, dopamine circuits, and feeding. Frontiers in neuroendocrinology, 31(1), 104-12. PMID: 19836414.

Smith, N. J., Narayanan, N. & Laubach, M. (2009). Past performance is indicative of future returns. (Vols. 63). (2), pp. 146-8. Neuron. PMID: 19640473.

Narayanan, N. S., Laubach, M. (2009). Delay activity in rodent frontal cortex during a simple reaction time task. Journal of neurophysiology, 101(6), 2859-71. PMID: 19339463.

Narayanan, N., Laubach, M. (2009). Methods for studying functional interactions among neuronal populations. Methods in molecular biology (Clifton, N.J.), 489, 135-65. PMID: 18839091.

Narayanan, N. (2008). While they wait: Rodent frontal cortex and delayed response performance. United States – Connecticut: Yale University.

Narayanan, N. S., Laubach, M. (2008). Neuronal correlates of post-error slowing in the rat dorsomedial prefrontal cortex. Journal of neurophysiology, 100(1), 520-5. PMID: 18480374.

Allen, T. A., Narayanan, N. S., Kholodar-Smith, D. B., Zhao, Y., Laubach, M. & Brown, T. H. (2008). Imaging the spread of reversible brain inactivations using fluorescent muscimol. Journal of neuroscience methods, 171(1), 30-8. PMID: 18377997.

Narayanan, N. S., Horst, N. K. & Laubach, M. (2006). Reversible inactivations of rat medial prefrontal cortex impair the ability to wait for a stimulus. Neuroscience, 139(3), 865-76. PMID: 16500029.

Narayanan, N. S., Laubach, M. (2006). Top-down control of motor cortex ensembles by dorsomedial prefrontal cortex. Neuron, 52(5), 921-31. PMID: 17145511.

Narayanan, N. S., Kimchi, E. Y. & Laubach, M. (2005). Redundancy and synergy of neuronal ensembles in motor cortex. The Journal of neuroscience : the official journal of the Society for Neuroscience, 25(17), 4207-16. PMID: 15858046.

Luczak, A., Narayanan, N. S. (2005). Spectral representation--analyzing single-unit activity in extracellularly recorded neuronal data without spike sorting. Journal of neuroscience methods, 144(1), 53-61. PMID: 15848239.

Narayanan, N. S., Prabhakaran, V., Bunge, S. A., Christoff, K., Fine, E. M. & Gabrieli, J. D. (2005). The role of the prefrontal cortex in the maintenance of verbal working memory: an event-related FMRI analysis. Neuropsychology, 19(2), 223-32. PMID: 15769206.

Narayanan, N., PRABHAKARAN, V., BUNGE, S. A., CHRISTOF, K., FINE, E. & GABRIELI, J. D. (2005). Parametric manipulation of the amount of information in working memory. Neuropsychology, 19(2), 4207-16.

Narayanan, N. (2002). Between Worlds: Guardian deities as agents of transformation. Stanford Journal of East Asian Affairs, 2(1), 41-54.

Prabhakaran, V., Narayanan, K., Zhao, Z. & Gabrieli, J. D. (2000). Integration of diverse information in working memory within the frontal lobe. Nature neuroscience, 3(1), 85-90. PMID: 10607400.