Research in the Baxter lab focuses on the neural mechanisms of learning, memory, executive function, and decision-making, and the ways in which these mechanisms fail in aging and neuropsychiatric disorders. Our research interests are broad and include the functional neuroanatomy of frontal and temporal cortex, regulation of higher cognitive functions by neuromodulators, the biological basis of cognitive impairments in neurodegenerative disease and neuropsychiatric conditions, as well as the neurobiological and cognitive effects of general anesthesia. Our approach to answering questions about the relationship between brain systems and cognition is to interfere with the function of defined neural systems in experimental animal models, and determine the consequences of this interference on behavior.
Baxter MG, Santistevan AC, Bliss-Moreau E, Morrison JH (2018) Timing of cyclic estradiol treatment differentially affects cognition in aged female rhesus monkeys. Behavioral Neuroscience, Epub 28 June 2018. http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/bne0000259
Bliss-Moreau E, Baxter MG (2018) Estradiol treatment in a nonhuman primate model of menopause preserves affective reactivity. Behavioral Neuroscience, Epub 28 June 2018. http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/bne0000253
Baxter MG, Crimins JL (2018) Acetylcholine receptor stimulation for cognitive enhancement: Better the devil you know? Neuron, 98, 1064-1066.
Raper J, De Biasio JC, Murphy KL, Alvarado MC, Baxter MG (2018) Persistent alteration in behavioural reactivity to a mild social stressor in rhesus monkeys repeatedly exposed to sevoflurane in infancy. British Journal of Anaesthesia 120:761-767.
Mincer JS, Baxter MG, McCormick PJ, Sano M, Schwartz AE, Brallier JW, Allore HG, Delman BN, Sewell MC, Kundu P, Tang CY, Sanchez A, Deiner SG (2017) Delineating the trajectory of cognitive recovery from general anesthesia in older adults: Design and rationale of the TORIE (Trajectory of Recovery in the Elderly) project. Anesthesia & Analgesia doi:10.1213/ANE.0000000000002427
Alvarado MC, Murphy KL, Baxter MG (2017) Visual recognition memory is impaired in rhesus monkeys repeatedly exposed to sevoflurane in infancy. British Journal of Anaesthesia 119:517-523.
Baxter MG, Alvarado MC (2017) Monkey in the middle: Translational studies of pediatric anesthetic exposure. Anesthesiology 126:6–8.
Harony-Nicolas H, Kay M, Hoffmann JD, Klein ME, Bozdagi-Gunal O, Riad M, Daskalakis NP, Sonar S, Castillo PE, Hof PR, Shapiro ML, Baxter MG, Wagner S, Buxbaum JD (2017) Oxytocin improves behavioral and electrophysiological deficits in a novel Shank3-deficient rat. eLife 6:e18904.
Murphy KL, McGaughy J, Croxson PL, Baxter MG (2017) Exposure to sevoflurane anesthesia during development does not impair aspects of attention during adulthood in rats. Neurotoxicology and Teratology 60:87–94.
Koike H, Demars MP, Short JA, Nabel EM, Akbarian S, Baxter MG, Morishita H (2016) Chemogenetic inactivation of dorsal anterior cingulate cortex neurons disrupts attentional behavior in mouse. Neuropsychopharmacology 41:1014–1023.
Raper J, Bush A, Murphy KL, Baxter MG, Alvarado MC (2016) Multiple sevoflurane exposures in infant monkeys do not impact the mother-infant bond. Neurotoxicology and Teratology 54:46–51.
Raper J, Alvarado MC, Murphy KL, Baxter MG (2015) Multiple anesthetic exposure in infant monkeys alters emotional reactivity to an acute stressor. Anesthesiology 123:1084-1092.
Amrock LG, Starner ML, Murphy KL, Baxter MG (2014) Long-term effects of single or multiple neonatal sevoflurane exposures on rat hippocampal ultrastructure. Anesthesiology 122:87-95, published online October 6, 2014.
O’Reilly JX, Croxson PL, Jbabdi S, Sallet J, Noonan MP, Mars RB, Browning PG, Wilson CR, Mitchell AS, Miller KL, Rushworth MF, Baxter MG (2013) Causal effect of disconnection lesions on interhemispheric functional connectivity in rhesus monkeys. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the USA 110:13982-13987.
Murphy KL, Baxter MG (2013) Long-term effects of neonatal single or multiple isoflurane exposures on spatial memory in rats. Frontiers in Neurology 4:87.
Browning PG, Baxter MG, Gaffan D (2013) Prefrontal-temporal disconnection impairs recognition memory but not familiarity discrimination. Journal of Neuroscience 33:9667-9674.
Baxter MG, Roberts MT, Gee NA, Lasley BL, Morrison JH, Rapp PR (2013) Multiple clinically relevant hormone therapy regimens fail to improve cognitive function in aged ovariectomized rhesus monkeys. Neurobiology of Aging 34:1882-1890.
Shen X, Dong Y, Xu Z, Wang H, Miao C, Soriano SG, Sun D, Baxter MG, Zhang Y, Xie Z (2013) Selective anesthesia-induced neuroinflammation in developing mouse brain and cognitive impairment. Anesthesiology 118:502-515
Croxson PL, Browning PG, Gaffan D, Baxter MG (2012) Acetylcholine facilitates recovery of episodic memory after brain damage. Journal of Neuroscience 32:13787-13795.
Deiner S, Baxter MG (2012) Cognitive dysfunction after inhalation versus intravenous anesthesia in elderly patients. Anesthesiology 117:676-678.
Baxter MG (2012) It’s all coming back to me now: Perception and memory in amnesia. Neuron 75:8-10.
Morrison JH, Baxter MG (2012) The ageing cortical synapse: hallmarks and implications for cognitive decline. Nature Reviews Neuroscience 13:240-250.
Croxson PL, Kyriazis DA, Baxter MG (2011) Cholinergic modulation of a specific memory function of prefrontal cortex. Nature Neuroscience 14:1510-1512.
Mars RB, Jbabdi S, Sallet J, O’Reilly JX, Croxson PL, Olivier E, Noonan MP, Bergmann C, Mitchell AS, Baxter MG, Behrens TE, Johansen-Berg H, Tomassini V, Miller KL, Rushworth MF (2011) Diffusion-weighted imaging tractography-based parcellation of the human parietal cortex and comparison with human and macaque resting-state functional connectivity. Journal of Neuroscience 31:4087-4100.
Palanisamy A, Baxter MG, Keel PK, Xie Z, Crosby G, Culley DJ (2011) Rats exposed to isoflurane in utero during early gestation are behaviorally abnormal as adults. Anesthesiology 114:521-528.
Meet the Team
Mark Baxter, PhD
My work uses animal models to establish causal links between manipulations of defined neural circuits and behavioral and cognitive functions, with a view towards ameliorating age-related impairments in memory and cognition. I also study the long-term effects of exposure to general anesthesia on cognitive function, at different stages of the lifespan. My academic mentors were David Olton and Linda Gorman at Johns Hopkins University, Michela Gallagher at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and Elisabeth Murray at the NIMH. I joined Mount Sinai as a tenured faculty member in 2010.
Associate Researcher II
I graduated from Dartmouth College, having studied Neuroscience and the Anthropology of Global Health. At Dartmouth, I studied the effect of deep brain stimulation in the nucleus accumbens core and shell sub regions on binge eating behavior under the direction of Drs. Wilder Doucette and Alan I. Green. I joined the Baxter Lab in 2017, where I am working on chemogenetic modulation of the basal forebrain.
Johanna Crimins, PhD
My work broadly centers on the physiological, neuronal, and synaptic underpinnings of cognitive impairment pertinent to aging and aging-associated neurodegenerative disorders, specifically Alzheimer’s disease. I earned a doctorate in Anatomy and Neurobiology from Boston University, with initial postdoctoral training at Mount Sinai and Yale. I joined the Baxter lab in 2018.
Following undergraduate degrees in Biology and Psychology at Arizona State University, I accepted a Fulbright Fellowship to Madrid, Spain where I continued building my foundations in neuroscience research before beginning my doctoral training in Neuroscience at Mount Sinai. My prior research spans epigenetics, neuropsychiatric illness including depression, and the gut-brain axis. Currently, I focus my efforts on understanding the neural effects of multiple anesthesia exposures on the developing brain, using electron microscopy as a primary tool.
I received my undergraduate degree in Neuroscience from Davidson College. As a student, I researched synaptic plasticity in the hippocampus utilizing in vivo electrophysiology in rats. Following graduation, I worked as a research technician for two years investigating hippocampal plasticity following injection of 192 IgG-saporin. I joined the Baxter Lab as part of the Neuroscience PhD program at Mount Sinai in 2016.