Derek Dziobek

MS 2018


Thesis Title:

Face Preference and the Effect of Muscimol Inactivation of the Dentate Nucleus on Saccadic Eye Movements.

Undergraduate Institution and Major:

Arizona State University, BS in Physics, 2009

Current Position:

Research Scientist, Barrow Neurological Institute, Phoenix, AZ.

Graduate Advisor:

James Ashe, M.D., Departments of Neuroscience and Neurology

Description of Graduate Research: 

We are plumbing the secrets of the deep cerebellar nuclei and how they contribute to the cognitive control of eye movements.  We have concocted a behavioral assay in which non-human primates are given a choice of images to look at, and we are using this as a tool to quantify choice while monitoring voluntary eye movements.  We couple this with single cell neural recordings to relate neural responses to behavior.

Thesis Committee Members:

Research Categories:

  • Behavioral and Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Developmental Neuroscience
  • Neuropsychiatric Disease


Graduate Level Publications:

  • Goodwin SJ, Dziobek D. Defining the cognitive enhancing properties of video games: Steps Towards Standardization and Translation. Postdoc J. 2016 Sep;4(9):32-36.
  • Dziobek D, Zhang D, Ashe J, Lu X (2015) New primate model linked to the pathogenesis of autism.  Brain Disorders and Therapy 4: 2
  • Abu-Odeh D, Dziobek D, Jimenez NT, Barbey C, Dubinsky JM. Active learning in a neuroethics course positively impacts moral judgment development in undergraduates. J Undergrad Neurosci Educ. 2015 Mar 15;13(2):A110-9.

Graduate Level Abstracts:

  • Society for Neuroscience 2015
  • Society for Neuroscience 2015
  • Society for Neuroscience 2016


  • James Ashe, M.D., Departments of Neuroscience and Neurology
  • Yasushi Nakagawa, M.D./Ph.D., Department of Neuroscience
  • David Largaespada, Ph.D., Department of Genetics, Cell Biology and Development
  • Walter Low, Ph.D., Department of Neurosurgery

Why Did You Choose UMN? 

It seemed like a great setting with a number of supportive individuals.

What Advice Would You Give a First Year Graduate Student?  

Keep your mind open to new areas of research, and try to find a work environment that fits you.

Derek Dziobek