Neurophysiological Pharmacology Section - Division of Intramural Research
Judith R. Walters, Ph.D., Senior Investigator
Dr. Walters received her B.A. degree from Mt. Holyoke College and her Ph.D. from Yale University, where she studied the pharmacology and neurophysiology of the dopamine system in the basal ganglia. After postdoctoral work at Yale, she joined the faculty of the Department of Psychiatry at the Yale University School of Medicine and then moved to the Experimental Therapeutics Branch in NINDS, where she now serves as Chief of the Neurophysiological Pharmacology Section. Her laboratory explores the role of dopamine in basal ganglia-thalamocortical function.
, Ph.D., Staff Scientist
, M.A., Office Manager
, B.S., Post baccalaureate Fellow
, B.S., Contractor
, M.D., Ph.D., Contractor
, B.A., Post baccalaureate Fellow
The goal of the Neurophysiological Pharmacology Section is to elucidate the
function of specific neuronal systems in regulating information processing in
basal ganglia-thalamocortical networks. The Section interests are currently
focused on relationships between dopamine and basal ganglia-thalamocortical
system function and dysfunction, especially with respect to movement disorders.
Effort is directed toward identifying mechanisms that could be manipulated to
prevent, correct, and/or compensate for dysfunction occurring in these systems
in disorders such as Parkinson's disease, dyskinesia, Huntington's disease,
Tourette's syndrome and attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
Neurophysiological approaches are utilized to investigate activity in basal
ganglia-thalamocortical circuits in normal and abnormal motor states and the
potential for modulating basal ganglia- thalamocortical network function with
drugs and other interventions, such as deep brain stimulation. An area of
current interest is the role of dopamine receptor stimulation in modulation of
synchronized and oscillatory neuronal activity in a range of frequencies in the
context of basal ganglia-thalamocortical network function and dysfunction.
Techniques include in vivo recordings in anesthetized and awake behaving rodent
preparations in conjunction with selective lesion, stimulation or drug
treatments, and biochemical, behavioral and anatomical measures.
Selected Recent Publications
Avila I,Parr-Brownlie LC, Brazhnik E, Castaneda E, Bergstrom DA and Walters JR
Beta Frequency Synchronization in Basal Ganglia Output during Rest and Walk in a Hemiparkinsonian Rat, Experimental Neurology, 2010, vol. 221, pp. 307-319.
Walters JR, Tierney PL and Bergstrom DA
Oscillatory activity and synchronization in the basal ganglia network in rodent models of Parkinson's disease, The Basal Ganglia IX, edited by HJ Groenewegen et al., 2009, pp. 443-459.
Parr-Brownlie LC, Poloskey SL, Bergstrom DA and Walters JR
Parafascicular thalamic nucleus activity in a rat model of Parkinson's disease, Experimental Neurology, 2009, vol. 217, pp. 269-281. Full Text/Abstract
Pelled G, Bergstrom DA, Tierney PL, Conroy RS, Chuang KH, Leopold DA, Walters JR and Koretsky AP
Ipsilateral cortical fMRI responses after peripheral nerve damage in rats reflect increased interneuron activity, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA, 2009, vol. 106, pp. 14114-14119. Full Text/Abstract
Walters JR and Bergstrom DA
Basal ganglia network synchronization in animal models of Parkinson's disease, Cortical-Subcortical Dynamics in Parkinson's Disease, edited by KY Tseng, 2009, pp. 117-142.
Di Martino A, Scheres A, Margulies DS, Kelly AMC, Uddin LQ, Shehzad Z, Biswal B, Walters JR, Castellanos FX and Milham MP
Functional connectivity of human striatum: a resting state fMRI study, Cerebral Cortex, 2008, vol. 18, pp. 2735-2747. Full Text/Abstract
Aravamuthan BR, Bergstrom DA, French RA, Taylor JJ, Parr-Brownlie LC and Walters JR
Altered neuronal activity relationships between the pedunculopontine nucleus and motor cortex in a rodent model of Parkinson's disease, Experimental Neurology, 2008, vol. 213, pp. 268-280. Full Text/Abstract
Walters JR, Hu D, Itoga CA, Parr-Brownlie LC, Bergstrom DA
Phase relationships support a role for coordinated activity in the indirect pathway in organizing slow oscillations in basal ganglia output after loss of dopamine , Neuroscience, 2007, vol. 144, pp. 762-776. Full Text/Abstract
Selected Earlier Publications