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Nandakumar Narayanan, MD, PhD

Associate Professor of Neurology

Contact Information

Primary Office
1336 PBDB
Iowa City, IA 52242


MD, Medicine, Yale University
PhD, Neuroscience, Yale University
BA, Human Biology, Stanford University
Internship, Medicine, Hospital of St. Raphael
Resident, Neurology, Yale Medical School
Postdoctoral 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.


De Corte, B., Wagner, L., Matell, M. & Narayanan, N. (2019). Striatal dopamine and the temporal control of behavior. Behav Brain Res.

Singh, A., Richardson, S., Narayana, N. & Cavanagh, J. (2018). Mid-frontal theta activity is diminished during cognitive control in Parkinson's disease. Neuropsychologia.

Kelly, R., Flouty, O., Emmons, E., Kim, Y., Kingyon, J., Oya, H., Greenlee, J. & Narayanan, N. (2018). A human prefrontal-subthalamic circuit for cognitive control. Brain.

Muller, E., De Corte, B., Gupta, S., Lillis, K., Narayanan, N., Wemmie, J. & LaLumiere, R. (2018). Attenuation of cocaine seeking in rats via enhancement of infralimbic cortical activity using stable step-function opsins. Psychopharmacology.

Alberico, S., Narayanan, N. (In Press). Levodopa-induced dyskinesias in Parkinson’s disease”. In The Neuroscience of Parkinson’s disease.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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., 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.

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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., 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.

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

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.

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.

Aldridge, G., Birnschein, A., Denburg, N. & Narayanan, N. (2012). Parkinson’s disease dementia and dementia with Lewy bodies have similar neuropsychological profiles. Frontiers in Neurology.

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

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., 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.

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., 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.

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.