Laboratory of Neuropsychology SCN Banner
Link to SCN Home Link to SCN Publications Link to SCN Projects Link to LN Home

Mortimer Mishkin, Ph.D.
Chief, Section on Cognitive Neuroscience

        Dr. Mishkin is Chief of the Section on Cognitive Neuroscience in the Laboratory of Neuropsychology, NIMH. He received an A.B. from Dartmouth College (1946) and an M.A. (1949) and Ph.D. (1951) from McGill University. His master's thesis was directed by D. O. Hebb, and his Ph.D. thesis, performed at Yale University, was directed jointly by H.E. Rosvold and K.H. Pribram. In 1955, after completing his postdoctoral research with both Pribram at the Institute of Living and H.-L. Teuber at Bellevue Medical Center, he moved to NIMH as an Investigator. Dr. Mishkin served as Chief of the Laboratory of Neuropsychology from 1980 to 1997 and was Associate Director for Basic Research in the NIMH/IRP from 1994 to 1997. He is currently Acting Chief of the Laboratory of Neuropsychology, and his section within it explores the neurobiological mechanisms of learning and memory.

Photo of Dr. Mishkin

Research Interests

The Section uses a multidisciplinary approach to investigate the neurobiological mechanisms underlying learning and memory in primates. In monkeys, the approach involves: (a) utilizing metabolic mapping techniques, including both autoradiography and neuroimaging, to delineate the cerebral territory belonging to a particular functional neural system; (b) studying the effects of selective lesions within that territory on the performance of specially designed learning and memory tasks in various sensory modalities, in the attempt to separate and identify different mnemonic functions and localize their critical neural substrates; (c) applying anatomical tracing techniques, to reveal how the different substrates belonging to a functional family are organized as components of a neural system or circuit; (d) recording electrophysiological activity within the identified substrates, to determine the nature of the information those neurons receive and transmit before, during, and after learning; and (e) injecting pharmacological agents into those same substrates, to relate the learning-dependent changes in behavior and neuronal activity to the underlying cellular and synaptic mechanisms. The learning and memory mechanisms uncovered in the research on monkeys serves as the basis for a search for homologous mechanisms in brain-damaged patients examined both neuropsychologically and with quantitative magnetic resonance techniques. (The research on patients is conducted in collaboration with a team at the University College London, Institute of Child Health.)



Representative Selected Recent Publications:

Vargha-Khadem F, Gadian DG, Copp A, and Mishkin M (2005) FOXP2 and the neuroanatomy of speech and language. Nature Reviews Neurosci 6:131-138. 

Turchi J, Saunders RC, and Mishkin M (2005) Effects of cholinergic deafferentation of the rhinal cortex on visual recognition in monkeys. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 102:2158-2161.  

Fritz J, Mishkin M, and Saunders RC (2005) In search of an auditory engram.  Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 102:9359-9364. 

de Haan M, Mishkin M, Baldeweg T, and Vargha-Khadem F (2006) Human memory development and its dysfunction after early hippocampal injury. Trends Neurosci 29:374-381. 

Poremba A, and Mishkin M (2007) Exploring the extent and function of higher-order auditory cortex in rhesus monkeys. Hearing Res 229:14-23.   

Turchi J, Buffalari D, and Mishkin M (2008) Double dissociation of pharmacologically induced deficits in visual recognition and visual discrimination learning. Learning and Memory 15:565-568. 

Brandt KR, Gardiner JM, Vargha-Khadem F, Baddeley AD, and Mishkin M (2009) Impairment of recollection but not familiarity in a case of developmental amnesia. Neurocase 15:60-65.

Kikuchi Y, Horwitz B, and Mishkin M (2010) Hierarchical auditory processing directed rostrally along the monkey’s supratemporal plane. J Neurosci 30:13021-13030, 2010.

Kravitz DJ, Saleem KS, Baker CI, and Mishkin M (2011) A new neural framework for visuospatial processing. Nature Rev Neurosci 12:217-230, 2011.

Guderian S, Brigham D, and Mishkin M (2011) Two processes support visual recognition memory in rhesus monkeys. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 108:19425-19430, 2011.

Schulze K, Vargha-Khadem F, Mishkin M (2012) Test of a motor theory of long-term memory. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 109(18):7121-5, 2012.

Wu W, Saunders RC, Mishkin M, Turchi J (2012) Differential effects of m1 and m2 receptor antagonists in perirhinal cortex on visual recognition memory in monkeys. Neurobiol Learn Mem 98(1):41-6, 2012.

Fukushima M, Saunders RC, Leopold DA, Mishkin M, Averbeck BB (2012) Spontaneous high-gamma band activity reflects functional organization of auditory cortex in the awake macaque. Neuron 74(5):899-910, 2012.

Scott BH, Mishkin M, Yin P (2012)Monkeys have a limitedformof short-term memory in audition. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 109(30): 12237-41, 2012.

Kravitz, D.J., Saleem, K.S., Baker, C.I., Ungerleider, L.G., and Mishkin, M. The ventral visual pathway: An expanded neural framework for the processing of object quality. Trends in Cogn. Sci., In press.


Coronal Composite image
This page was last updated January 2015