A behavioral neuroscientist by training, I received my B.A. in Psychology from Loyola University New Orleans and spent two years in the Laboratory of Neuropsychology at the National Institute of Mental Health under the mentorship of Mortimer Mishkin in a research project that explored the contribution of the hippocampal formation to spatial cognition in rhesus monkeys. I then received my PhD from the Neurobiology and Behavior Department at the University of California, Irvine in 2007 under the guidance of John F. Marshall, where I extended my studies of learning and memory to explore the cognitive, behavioral, and neuronal sequelae that ensue following exposure to acute, toxic and sensitizing regimens of substituted amphetamines in rodents. After a one-year postdoctoral fellowship working with Michael Gazzaniga's MacArthur Foundation-funded Law and Neuroscience Project, I returned to the bench in 2009 to work in the National Institute on Drug Abuse. Working in the Neuroimaging Research Branch under the guidance of Elliot Stein, I forged a collaboration with Afonso Silva (National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke) to explore the resting-state signal in the unanesthetized marmoset brain, finding that, like humans, marmosets possess functionally-relevant large-scale brain networks.
My primary research interest is in the exploration of animal models (nonhuman primates) of human personality traits as endophenotypes of neuropsychiatric disorders, particularly for substance use disorder (SUD). This includes neuroimaging biomarkers, cognitive function in tasks of executive function (CANTAB), and the exploration of polymorphisms in the genes that are associated with personality traits.
Belcher, A.M., Volkow, N.D., Moeller, F.G. & Ferre, S. (in press). Society and addiction: Bringing understanding toward appreciation of a mental health disorder. In Gazzaniga MS (Ed.) The Cognitive Neurosciences V. Oxford: UK
Belcher, A.M., Volkow, N.D., Moeller, F.G. & Ferre, S. (2014). Personality traits and vulnerability or resilience to substance use disorders. Trends in Cognitive Sciences. 18(4): 163-218.
Belcher, A.M., Stepp, H., Yen, C.C., Lu, H., Mackel, J., Yang, Y., Silva, A.C. & Stein, E.A. (2013). Large-scale brain networks in awake, truly resting marmoset monkeys. Journal of Neuroscience, 33(42), 16796-16804.
*Yang, S., *Belcher, A.M., Chefer, S., Vaupel, D.B., Chen, X., Kurup, P.K., Stein, E.A. & Yang, Y. (2013). Metabolite abnormalities in rhesus monkeys during withdrawal of methamphetamine: A 1H MR spectroscopy study at 3T. Addiction Biology, doi: 10.1111/adb.12078. *Joint first-author
Izquierdo A.I. & Belcher, A.M. (2012). Rodent models of adaptive decision-making. Methods in Molecular Biology, 829:85-101.
Feifel, D., Schilling, P.D. & Belcher. A.M. (2012). The effects of oxytocin, and its analog, carbetocin, on genetic deficits in sensorimotor gating. European Neuropsychopharmacology 22:374-378.
Belcher, A.M. & Sinnott-Armstrong, W. (2010). Neurolaw. Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews: Cognitive Science, 1:18-22.
Belcher, A.M., O'Dell, S.J., Marshall, J.F. (2009). Long-term changes in dopamine-stimulated gene expression after single-day methamphetamine exposure. Synapse, 63:403-412.
Izquierdo, A.I., Belcher, A.M., Scott, L., Cazares, V.A., Chen, J., O'Dell, S.J., Malvaez, M., Wu, T. & Marshall, J.F. (2009). Reversal-specific learning impairments after a binge regimen of methamphetamine in rats: Possible involvement of striatal dopamine. Neuropsychopharmacology, 35:505-514.
Belcher, A.M., Feinstein, E.M., O'Dell, S.J. & Marshall, J.F. (2008). Methamphetamine influences on recognition memory: comparison of escalating and single-day dosing regimens. Neuropsychopharmacology, 33:1453-1463.
Marshall, J.F., Belcher, A.M., Feinstein, E.M. & O'Dell, S.J. (2007). Methamphetamine-induced neural and cognitive changes in rodents. Addiction, 102:61-69.
Belcher, A.M., Harrington, R.A., Malkova, L. & Mishkin, M. (2006). Effects of hippocampal lesions on the monkeys'a bility to learn large set of object-place association. Hippocampus, 16:361-367.
Belcher, A.M., O'Dell, S.J. & Marshal, J.F. (2006). A sensitizing regimen of methamphetamine causes impairments in a novelty preference task of object recognition. Behavioural Brain Research, 170:167-172.
Belcher, A.M., O'Dell, S.J. & Marshall, J.F. (2005). Impaired object recognition memory following methamphetamine, but not p-chloroamphetamine- or d-amphetamine-induced neurotoxicity. Neuropsychopharmacology, 30:2026-2034.
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