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Brian N. Mathur, PhD

Academic Title:

Associate Professor

Primary Appointment:


Secondary Appointment(s):



HSF III 9179

Phone (Primary):


Education and Training

Dr. Mathur received his B.A (Neuroscience) from Oberlin College in 1998 where he performed honors research on comparative neuroanatomy with Mark Braford, Ph.D. He subsequently worked for four years at Lexicon Pharmaceuticals Inc., in The Woodlands, TX as a research associate performing molecular biology/genetics research. Dr. Mathur received his Ph.D. (Neuroscience) in 2008 from Vanderbilt University under the mentorship of Ariel Y. Deutch, Ph.D. and did postdoctoral research at the National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism at the National Institutes of Health in Rockville, MD in the laboratory of David M. Lovinger, Ph.D. Dr. Mathur joined the faculty at the University of Maryland School of Medicine in the Department of Pharmacology in 2013. 


The primary focus of the lab is to understand how neural macro- and microcircuits control action learning and selection under normal and pathophysiological conditions.  We combine neuroanatomical methods with genetic, optogenetic, in vivo calcium imaging, animal behavior, and slice electrophysiology to define both neural circuit form and function.  We employ mouse models of alcohol use disorder to determine how specific neural circuits are affected by these pathological states with a focus on restoring normal circuit function and, therefore, behavior. 

Research/Clinical Keywords

Systems neuroscience Attentional control of action learning and control Addiction research Alcohol abuse and alcoholism Parkinson's disease Movement disorders Striatum Claustrum

Highlighted Publications

White MG, Mu C, Qadir H, Madden MB, Zeng H, Mathur BN. The Mouse Claustrum Is Required for Optimal Behavioral Performance Under High Cognitive Demand. Biol Psychiatry. 2020 Nov 1;88(9):719-726. doi: 10.1016/j.biopsych.2020.03.020. Epub 2020 Apr 10. PMID: 32456782; PMCID: PMC7554117.

Patton MS, Heckman M, Kim C, Mu C, Mathur BN. Compulsive alcohol consumption is regulated by dorsal striatum fast-spiking interneurons. Neuropsychopharmacology. 2021 Jan;46(2):351-359. doi: 10.1038/s41386-020-0766-0. Epub 2020 Jul 14. PMID: 32663841; PMCID: PMC7852608.

Patton MH, Padgett KE, McKeon PN, Qadir H, Patton MS, Mu C, Roberts BM, Mathur BN. TrkB-dependent disinhibition of the nucleus accumbens is enhanced by ethanol. Neuropsychopharmacology. 2019 May;44(6):1114-1122. 

Cover KK, Gyawali U, Kerkhoff WG, Patton MH, Mu C, White MG, Marquardt AE, Roberts BM, Cheer JF, Mathur BN. Activation of the Rostral Intralaminar Thalamus Drives Reinforcement through Striatal Dopamine Release. Cell Rep. 2019 Feb 5;26(6):1389-1398.e3.

White MG, Panicker M, Mu C, Carter AM, Roberts BM, Dharmasri PA, Mathur BN. (2018) Anterior Cingulate Cortex Input to the Claustrum Is Required for Top-Down Action Control. Cell Rep. Jan 2;22(1):84-95.

White MG, Cody PA, Bubser M, Wang HD, Deutch AY and Mathur BN (2017), Cortical hierarchy governs rat claustrocortical circuit organization. J. Comp. Neurol. doi:10.1002/cne.23970

Patton MH, Roberts BM, Lovinger DM, Mathur BN. (2016) Ethanol Disinhibits Dorsolateral Striatal Medium Spiny Neurons Through Activation of A Presynaptic Delta Opioid Receptor. Neuropsychopharmacology. Jun;41(7):1831-40.

Atwood BK, Lovinger DM, Mathur BN. Presynaptic long-term depression mediated by Gi/o-coupled receptors. Trends Neurosci. 2014 Nov;37(11):663-73. 

Mathur BN, Tanahira C, Tamamaki N, Lovinger DM. Voltage drives diverse endocannabinoid signals to mediate striatal microcircuit-specific plasticity. Nat Neurosci. 2013 Sep;16(9):1275-83.


Additional Publication Citations

McKeon PN, Mathur BN. On location for cannabinoid control of multimodal behavior. Neuron. 2021 May 5;109(9):1416-1418. doi: 10.1016/j.neuron.2021.04.013. PMID: 33957068.

Yaden DB, Johnson MW, Griffiths RR, Doss M, Garcia-Romeu A, Nayak S, Gukasayan N, Mathur BN, Barrett FS. Psychedelics and Consciousness: Distinctions, Demarcations, and Opportunities. Int J Neuropsychopharmacol. 2021 May 14:pyab026. doi: 10.1093/ijnp/pyab026. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 33987652.

Cover KK, Mathur BN. Rostral Intralaminar Thalamus Engagement in Cognition and Behavior. Front Behav Neurosci. 2021 Apr 15;15:652764. doi: 10.3389/fnbeh.2021.652764. PMID: 33935663; PMCID: PMC8082140.

Cover KK, Mathur BN. Axo-axonic synapses: Diversity in neural circuit function. J Comp Neurol. 2021 Jun;529(9):2391-2401. doi: 10.1002/cne.25087. Epub 2020 Dec 18. PMID: 33314077; PMCID: PMC8053672.

Barrett FS, Krimmel SR, Griffiths RR, Seminowicz DA, Mathur BN. Psilocybin acutely alters the functional connectivity of the claustrum with brain networks that support perception, memory, and attention. Neuroimage. 2020 Sep;218:116980. doi: 10.1016/j.neuroimage.2020.116980. Epub 2020 May 23. PMID: 32454209.

Roberts BM, White MG, Patton MH, Chen R, Mathur BN. Ensemble encoding of action speed by striatal fast-spiking interneurons. Brain Struct Funct. 2019 Jun 26.

Krimmel SR, White MG, Panicker MH, Barrett FS, Mathur BN*, Seminowicz DA*. Resting state functional connectivity and cognitive task-related activation of the human claustrum. Neuroimage. 2019 Aug 1;196:59-67. *co-corresponding authors

Krimmel SR, Qadir H, Hesselgrave N, White MG, Reser DH, Mathur BN*, Seminowicz DA*. Resting State Functional Connectivity of the Rat Claustrum. Front Neuroanat. 2019 Feb 22;13:22. *co-corresponding authors

Qadir H, Krimmel SR, Mu C, Poulopoulos A, Seminowicz DA, Mathur BN. Structural Connectivity of the Anterior Cingulate Cortex, Claustrum, and the Anterior Insula of the Mouse. Front Neuroanat. 2018 Nov 26;12:100.

Patton MH, Padgett KE, McKeon PN, Lu SG, Abrams TW, Mathur BN. An Aplysia-like synaptic switch for rapid protection against ethanol-induced synaptic inhibition in a mammalian habit circuit. Neuropharmacology. 2019 Jan;144:1-8.

White MG, Mathur BN. Claustrum circuit components for top-down input processing and cortical broadcast. Brain Struct Funct. 2018 Dec;223(9):3945-3958.

Cover KK, Kerkhoff WG, Mathur BN. (2018) The best defense is a strong offense: preventing alcohol abstinence-induced depression. Neuropsychopharmacology. Jul 30.

Licheri V, Lagström O, Lotfi A, Patton MH, Wigström H, Mathur BN, Adermark L. Complex Control of Striatal Neurotransmission by Nicotinic Acetylcholine Receptors via Excitatory Inputs onto Medium Spiny Neurons. J Neurosci. 2018 Jul 18;38(29):6597-6607.

Wenzel JM, Oleson EB, Gove WN, Cole AB, Gyawali U, Dantrassy HM, Bluett RJ, Dryanovski DI, Stuber GD, Deisseroth K, Mathur BN, Patel S, Lupica CR, Cheer JF. (2018) Phasic Dopamine Signals in the Nucleus Accumbens that Cause Active Avoidance Require Endocannabinoid Mobilization in the Midbrain. Curr Biol. May 7;28(9):1392-1404.e5.  

White MG, Mathur BN. (2018) Frontal cortical control of posterior sensory and association cortices through the claustrum. Brain Struct Funct.  Jul;223(6):2999-3006.

Chandra R, Engeln M, Schiefer C, Patton MH, Martin JA, Werner CT, Riggs LM, Francis TC, McGlincy M, Evans B, Nam H, Das S, Girven K, Konkalmatt P, Gancarz AM, Golden SA, Iñiguez SD, Russo SJ, Turecki G, Mathur BN, Creed M, Dietz DM, Lobo MK. (2018) Drp1 Mitochondrial Fission in D1 Neurons Mediates Behavioral and Cellular Plasticity during Early Cocaine Abstinence. Neuron. Dec 20;96(6):1327-1341.e6

Brown SP, Mathur BN, Olsen SR, Luppi PH, Bickford ME, Citri A. New Breakthroughs in Understanding the Role of Functional Interactions between the Neocortex and the Claustrum. (2017) J Neurosci. Nov 8;37(45):10877-10881. 

Roberts BM, Jarrin SE, Mathur BN, Bailey AM. (2016) Illuminating the undergraduate behavioral neuroscience laboratory: A guide for the in vivo application of optogenetics in mammalian model organisms. J Undergrad Neurosci Educ. Apr 15;14(2):A111-6.

Lovinger DM, Mathur BN. (2016) Endocannabinoid Signaling in the Striatum  in Handbook of Basal Ganglia Structure and Function 2nd ed. Steiner H, Tseng KY, editors. Amsterdam: Elsevier\

Patton MH, Shah AP, Mathur BN. (2016) Alcohol Effects on the Dorsal Striatum. in The Basal Ganglia-Novel Perspectives on Motor and Cognitive Functions Soghomonian J, editor. New York : Springer.

Deutch AY, Mathur BN. (2015) Editorial: The Claustrum: charting a way forward for the brain's most mysterious nucleus. Front Syst Neurosci. Jul 15;9: 103.

Mathur BN (2015) High on 'chronic': an unexpected route to cannabinoid-induced synaptic plasticity. J Physiol. Feb 15;593(4):759-60.

Mathur BN. (2014) The claustrum in review. Front Syst Neurosci. Apr 4;8:48.

Mathur BN, Tanahira C, Tamamaki N, Lovinger DM. Voltage drives diverse endocannabinoid signals to mediate striatal microcircuit-specific plasticity. Nat Neurosci. 2013 Sep;16(9):1275-83.

Klug JR, Mathur BN, Kash TL, Wang HD, Matthews RT, Robison AJ, Anderson ME, Deutch AY, Lovinger DM, Colbran RJ, Winder DG. (2012) Genetic inhibition of CaMKII in dorsal striatal medium spiny neurons reduces functional excitatory synapses and enhances intrinsic excitability. PLoS One.7(9):e45323.

Cachope R, Mateo Y, Mathur BN, Irving J, Wang HL, Morales M, Lovinger DM, Cheer JF. (2012) Selective activation of cholinergic interneurons enhances accumbal phasic dopamine release: setting the tone for reward processing. Cell Rep. 2012 Jul 26;2(1):33-41.

Mathur BN, Lovinger DM. (2012) Endocannabinoid-dopamine interactions in striatal synaptic plasticity. Front Pharmacol. Apr 19;3:66.

Lovinger DM, Mathur BN. Endocannabinoids in striatal plasticity. (2012) Parkinsonism Relat Disord. Jan;18 Suppl 1:S132-4.

Mathur BN, Lovinger DM. Serotonergic action on dorsal striatal function. Parkinsonism Relat Disord. (2012) Jan;18 Suppl 1:S129-31.

Cuzon Carlson VC, Mathur BN Davis MI, Lovinger DM. (2011) Subsets of Spiny Striosomal Striatal Neurons Revealed in the Gad1-GFP BAC Transgenic Mouse. Basal  Ganglia. Nov 1;1(4):201-211.

Torres-Altoro MI, Mathur BN, Drerup JM, Thomas R, Lovinger DM, O'Callaghan JP, Bibb JA. (2011) Organophosphates dysregulate dopamine signaling, glutamatergic neurotransmission, and induce neuronal injury markers in striatum. J Neurochem. Oct;119(2):303-13. 

Mathur BN, Caprioli RM, Deutch AY. (2009) Proteomic analysis illuminates a novel structural definition of the claustrum and insula. Cereb Cortex. Oct;19(10):2372-9. 

Mathur BN, Neely MD, Dyllick-Brenzinger M, Tandon A, Deutch AY. (2007) Systemic administration of a proteasome inhibitor does not cause nigrostriatal dopamine degeneration. Brain Res. Sep 7;1168:83-9.

Mathur BN, Deutch AY. (2008) Rat meningeal and brain microvasculature pericytes co-express the vesicular glutamate transporters 2 and 3. Neurosci Lett. Apr 18;435(2):90-4. 

Mathur BN, Neely MD, Dyllick-Brenzinger M, Tandon A, Deutch AY. (2007) Systemic administration of a proteasome inhibitor does not cause nigrostriatal dopamine degeneration. Brain Res. 2007 Sep 7;1168:83-9.

Donoviel DB, Freed DD, Vogel H, Potter DG, Hawkins E, Barrish JP, Mathur BN, Turner CA, Geske R, Montgomery CA, Starbuck M, Brandt M, Gupta A, Ramirez-Solis R, Zambrowicz BP, Powell DR. (2001) Proteinuria and perinatal lethality in mice lacking  NEPH1, a novel protein with homology to NEPHRIN. Mol Cell Biol. Jul;21(14):4829-36.

Maor MH, Dubey P, Tucker SL, Shiu AS, Mathur BN, Sawaya R, Lang FF, Hassenbusch SJ. Stereotactic radiosurgery for brain metastases: results and prognostic factors. Int J Cancer. 2000 Jun 20;90(3):157-62.



Research Interests

We take a synapse to behavior approach to defining neural circuits for the following projects:

Native dorsal and ventral striatal inhibitory synaptic plasticity mechanisms and their control by alcohol

Thalamostriatal circuitrygoverning action engagement

Striatal fast-spiking interneuron encoding of actions and their control by alcohol

The role of the claustrum in cognition and behavior. 

Grants and Contracts

NIAAA/NIH 1R01AA028070

Lab Techniques and Equipment

Whole-cell patch clamp electrophysiology 

In vivo and ex vivo optogenetics

In vivo and ex vivo chemogenetics

In vivo calcium imaging 

In vivo fiber photometry

Animal behavior (operant behavior, alcohol drinking, motor function assays)


Links of Interest