David Maisson

Entering Class - 2019

E-MAIL:  maiss002@umn.edu

Undergraduate Institution and Major:

California State University Northridge, B.A. in Behavioral Neuroscience and Psychology, 2013

University of Delaware, M.A. 2019

Graduate Advisor:

Jan Zimmermann, Ph.D., Department of Neuroscience
Ben Hayden, Ph.D., Department of Neuroscience


Masters and Undergraduate:

  • Maisson DJ. Distinct Contributions of the Nucleus Reuniens, Prefrontal Cortex, and Hippocampus to Spatial Working Memory. Masters dissertation. University of Delaware. 2019.
  • Maisson DJ, Gemzik ZM, Griffin AL Optogenetic suppression of the nucleus reuniens selectively impairs encoding during spatial working memory. Neurobiol Learn Mem. 2018 Nov;155:78-85
  • Lorber MF1, Maisson DJ, Slep AM, Heyman RE, Wolff MS. Mechanisms linking interparental aggression to child dental caries. Caries Res. 2017;51(2):149-159.

Graduate Oral Presentations:

  • Maisson DJ-N. This is your brain on disorder.. 90s elevator pitch about importance of research at the UD Graduate Students’ Forum for Research and Creative Endeavors, 2018.
  • Maisson DJ-N, Griffin AL. Implicating the Midline Thalamus in Hippocampal Spatial Working Memory Processes. Formal talk and the UD Graduate Students’ Forum for Research and Creative Endeavors), 2018. 
  • Maisson DJ-N, Griffin AL. Effects of nucleus reuniens optogenetic suppression on working-memory related hippocampal activity. David Olton Data Blitz, Park City Winter Conference, 2018.

Graduate Abstracts:


  • Maisson DJ-N, Griffin AL. Comparison of medial entorhinal and nucleus reuniens projections in CA1.  Society for Neuroscience, 2017; Delaware Neuroscience Symposium, 2017).
  • Gemzik ZM, Stout JS, Looney NF, Gaylord MT, Maisson DJ-N, Griffin AL Distinct spatial working memory correlates of prefrontal and hippocampal projections to the nucleus reuniens. Society for Neuroscience, 2017; Delaware Neuroscience Symposium, 2017.
  • Maisson DJ-N, Griffin AL. Optogenetic suppression of mPFC terminals and cell bodies in nucleus reuniens during select phases of a spatial working memory task. UT Austin Conference on Learning & Memory, 2017. 
  • Maisson DJ-N, Emanuel B, Hallock H, Gemzik Z, Donahue M, Griffin AL. Distinct contributions of hippocampal and prefrontal afferents to nucleus reuniens during spatial working memory. Society for Neuroscience, 2016; Delaware Neuroscience Symposium, 2016


  • David Redish
  • Ben Hayden 
  • Esther Krook-Magnuson
  • Jocelyn Richard
  • Rocio Gomez-Pastor

Professional Memberships:

  • Society for Neurosciece
  • American Physiological Society
  • American Psychological Association
  • Society for Neuroeconomics

Research Categories

  • Behavorial  and Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Computational Neuroscience
  • Neuroscience of Drug Abuse and Addiction

What got you interested in research?

I've been involved in research for 8 years. My interest started with neuroscience. I took a brain and behavior class as a University sophomore with a professor who fostered a love for the subject in me. The following semester, I took a research methods course and that professor solidified for me that this was what I wanted to do with the rest of my life. It's been research labs ever since.

Why did you choose the University of Minnesota?

I chose MN for the city, the size of the cohort, the cohort-building investment, the volume and range of available professors, and the program foundation of interdisciplinarity.