Apostolos P. Georgopoulos, M.D., Ph.D.

Regents Professor, Departments of Neuroscience, Neurology, and Psychiatry; McKnight Presidential Chair in Cognitive Neuroscience; Director and American Legion Brain Sciences Chair

E-MAIL: omega@umn.edu

Research Interests:

The long-term goals of the research in our laboratory are to elucidate the neural mechanisms underlying cognitive processes in motor behavior and to understand the intrinsic mechanisms of the cerebral cortex. We pursue experimental psychological studies, neurophysiological recordings, functional magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) at high field (4 Tesla), and neural network modeling (using supercomputers) to achieve these goals.

We carry out psychological studies in both human subjects and rhesus monkeys. The tasks are cognitive-motor in nature and employ paradigms of mental rotation, memory scanning, and visuomotor control of isometric force trajectories generated by the arm. Functional MRI in human subjects distinguishes the patterns of activation of brain areas during performance of these tasks. Electrophysiological recordings of the activity of single cells in motor and other areas of the cerebral cortex are then conducted in behaving monkeys in order to elucidate the brain mechanisms involved in these tasks. This experimental arrangement provides for a direct study of the relations between neuronal populations and behavior. We model the activity in these neuronal populations using a massively interconnected neural network to produce dynamically evolving trajectories under external guidance and from memory. Finally, we use information theory as a metrics-free analytical tool.

Selected Publications:

(For a comprehensive list of recent publications, refer to PubMed, a service provided by the National Library of Medicine.)

  • James LM, Christova P, Engdahl BE, Lewis SM, Carpenter AF, Georgopoulos AP. Human leukocyte antigen (HLA) and Gulf War Illness (GWI): HLA-DRB1*13:02 spares subcortical atrophy in Gulf War veterans. EBioMedicine. 2017;26:126-131
  • Georgopoulos AP, James LM, Carpenter AF, Engdahl BE, Leuthold AC, Lewis SM. Gulf War illness (GWI) as a neuroimmune disease. Exp Brain Res. 2017;235:3217-3225.
  • Christova P, James LM, Engdahl BE, Lewis SM, Carpenter AF, Georgopoulos AP. Subcortical brain atrophy in Gulf War illness. Exp Brain Res. 2017;235:2777-2786.
  • Georgopoulos AP, Georgopoulos A. The beautiful brain and the influence of Santiago Ramón y Cajal on medicine. JAMA. 2017;318:502-504.
  • James LM, Engdahl BE, Georgopoulos AP. Apolipoprotein E: the resilience gene. Exp Brain Res. 2017;235:1853-1859.
  • James LM, Engdahl BE, Leuthold AC, Georgopoulos AP. Brain correlates of human leukocyte antigen (HLA) protection in Gulf War illness (GWI). EBioMedicine. 2016 Nov;13:72-79.
  • Lewis SM, Vydrová RR, Leuthold AC, Georgopoulos AP. Cortical miscommunication after prenatal exposure to alcohol. Exp Brain Res. 2016;234:3347-3353
  • Engdahl BE, James LM, Miller RD, Leuthold AC, Lewis SM, Carpenter AF, Georgopoulos AP. magnetoencephalographic (MEG) study of Gulf War illness (GWI). EBioMedicine. 2016;12:127-132.
  • Scott NM, Leuthold A, Sera MD, Georgopoulos AP. Differential neural activity patterns for spatial relations in humans: a MEG study. Exp Brain Res. 2016;234:429-441
  • James LM, Engdahl BE, Leuthold AC, Krueger RF, Georgopoulos AP. Pathological personality traits modulate neural interactions. Exp Brain Res. 2015;233(12):3543-52.
  • Sakellaridi S, Christova P, Christopoulos V, Leuthold AC, Peponis J, Georgopoulos AP. Neural mechanisms underlying the exploration of small city maps using magnetoencephalography. Exp Brain Res. 2015 Nov;233(11):3187-200.
  • Sakellaridi S, Christova P, Christopoulos VN, Vialard A, Peponis J, Georgopoulos AP. Cognitive mechanisms underlying instructed choice exploration of small city maps. Front Neurosci. 2015 Mar 20;9:60.
  • Scott NM, Sera MD, Georgopoulos AP. An information theory analysis of spatial decisions in cognitive development. Front Neurosci. 2015 Feb 4;9:14.
  • Georgopoulos AP, Carpenter AF. Coding of movements in the motor cortex. Curr Opin Neurobiol. 2015;33C:34-39.
  • James LM, Belitskaya-Lévy I, Lu Y, Wang H, Engdahl BE, Leuthold AC, Georgopoulos AP. Development and application of a diagnostic algorithm for posttraumatic stress disorder. Psychiatry Res. 2015;231(1):1-7.
  • Merchant H, Crowe DA, Fortes AF, Georgopoulos AP. Motor directional tuning across brain areas: directional resonance and the role of inhibition for directional accuracy. Front Neurosci. 2014 Aug 11;8:245.
  • Christopoulos VN, Boeff DV, Evans CD, Crowe DA, Amirikian B, Georgopoulos A, Georgopoulos AP. A network analysis of developing brain cultures. J Neural Eng. 2012;9(4):046008.
  • Georgopoulos AP. The Minnesota Women Healthy Aging Project. Minn Med. 2012;95(1):49-51.

Former Graduate Students:

Bruno Averbeck (Ph.D. 2001, Neuroscience, University of Minnesota).

David Crowe (Ph.D. 2001, Neuroscience, University of Minnesota).

Antonio Fortes (Ph.D. 2005, Neuroscience, University of Minnesota).

Trenton Jerde (Ph.D. 2004, Neuroscience, University of Minnesota).

Fred Langheim (Ph.D. 2004, Neuroscience, University of Minnesota).

Thomas Naselaris (Ph.D. 2005, Neuroscience, University of Minnesota).

Nicholas Port (Ph.D. 1997, Neuroscience, University of Minnesota).