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Lori Newman Assistant Professor of Psychological Science

Lori Newman teaches courses in Psychological Sciences and Neuroscience & Behavior.  Her research focuses on the role of astrocytes, the support cells of the brain, in cognition.

  • At Vassar since 2017


Research and Academic Interests

  • Astrocytes
  • Cognition
  • Metabolism

Selected Publications

Newman, L.A., Scavuzzo, C.J., Gold, P.E., & Korol, D.L. (2017). Training-induced elevations in extracellular lactate in hippocampus and striatum: Dissociations by cognitive strategy and type of reward. Neurobiology of Learning and Memory, 137: 142-153.

Newman, L.A. & Gold, P.E. (2016). Attenuation in rats of impairments of memory by scopolamine, a muscarinic receptor antagonist, by mecamylamine, a nicotinic receptor antagonist. Psychopharmacology, 233(5): 925-932. 

Newman, L.A., Creer, D.J., & McGaughy, J. (2015). Cognitive control and the anterior cingulate cortex: How conflicting stimuli affect attentional control in the rat. Journal of Physiology Paris, 109: 95-103.

Gold, P.E., Newman, L.A., Scavuzzo, C.J., & Korol, D.L. (2013). Modulation of multiple memory systems: from neurotransmitters to metabolic substrates. Hippocampus, 23(11):1053-65.

Newman, L.A., Korol, D.L., & Gold, P.E. (2011). Lactate produced by glycogenolysis in astrocytes regulates memory processing. PLoS ONE, 6(12): art. no. e28427.

Newman, L.A. & McGaughy, J. (2011). Attentional effects of lesions to the anterior cingulate cortex: How prior reinforcement influences distractibility. Behavioral Neuroscience, 125(3): 360-371.

Newman, L.A. & McGaughy, J. (2011). Adolescent rats show cognitive rigidity in a test of attentional set shifting. Developmental Psychobiology, 53(4): 391-401.

Newman, L.A., Darling, J., & McGaughy, J. (2008). Atomoxetine reverses attentional deficits produced by noradrenergic deafferentation of medial prefrontal cortex. Psychopharmacology (Berl), 200(1): 39-50.

Newman, L.A. & McGaughy, J. (2008). Cholinergic deafferentation of prefrontal cortex sensitivity to cross-modal distractors during a sustained attention task. The Journal of Neuroscience, 28(1): 2642-2650.

Newman, L.A. & Mair, R.G. (2007). Cholinergic modulation of visuospatial responding in central thalamus. European Journal of Neuroscience, 26(12): 3543-3552.

Newman, L.A. & Burk, J.A. (2005). Effects of excitotoxic thalamic intralaminar nuclei lesions on attention and working memory. Behavioural Brain Research, 162: 264-271.


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Photo: Karl Rabe/Vassar College
Photo: Karl Rabe/Vassar College
Photo: Karl Rabe/Vassar College
Photo: Karl Rabe/Vassar College
Photo: Karl Rabe/Vassar College

Dr. Lori Newman received her MA and PhD from University of New Hampshire in 2009 where she conducted research on the neuromodulation of attention, learning, and memory as well as independently taught several courses.  She then began her research on the influence of brain metabolism and memory with Dr. Paul Gold and Dr. Donna Korol as a postdoctoral research fellow first at the University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana and then at Syracuse University. Dr. Newman began her tenure-track position at Vassar College in 2017.

The Newman Lab studies the unique role of astrocytes, the support cells in the brain, in attention, learning, and memory.  Using neurochemical measures in conjunction with behavioral assays, our work suggests a critical role for astrocytes in cognition.  By elucidating the unique functions of astrocytes, we hope to provide targets for novel therapeutics for neurodegenerative and neuropsychiatric disorders such as Alzheimer's disease, schizophrenia, and ADHD.