Joshua A. Gordon, MD, PhD

Departments And Divisions

  • Department of Psychiatry
    Division of Integrative Neuroscience
  • Associate Professor of Psychiatry
  • Associate Director, Adult Psychiatry Residency Program
Joshua A. Gordon, <span>MD, PhD</span>

Cloning of genes which predispose to neuropsychiatric illness is proceeding rapidly of late. Yet identifying such predisposition genes is but a first step in understanding the pathophysiology of mental illnesses. We study genetic models of these diseases from an integrative neuroscience perspective with a focus on understanding how a given disease mutation leads to a behavioral phenotype in disease-related mouse models. To this end, we employ a range of systems neuroscience techniques, including in vivo anesthetized and awake behaving recording, neuroanatomical tracing, and pharmaco- and optogenetics. Current efforts are focused in three main disease areas: schizophrenia, anxiety, and depression.

Of relevance to schizophrenia, we are attempting to understand the neural circuitry underlying spatial working memory in normal mice, and its disruption in mice carrying mutations which in humans predispose to schizophrenia. In particular, in collaboration with Drs. Joseph Gogos and Maria Karayiorgou, we are exploring the mechanisms underlying disruption of hippocampal-prefrontal synchrony in a mouse model of the 22q11 microdeletion syndrome. With regard to anxiety, we have implicated a circuit including the ventral hippocampus and medial prefrontal cortex in the genesis of innate anxiety-like behavior in normal mice. Activity in this circuit is enhanced in mice lacking the serotonin 1A-receptor, a model of genetic predisposition to anxiety. Current experiments are aimed at understanding whether and how this circuit interacts with the amygdala and other brain regions known to play important roles in anxiety behaviors. Finally, in recent work on depression models, we have begun to examine the neural circuits affected by chronic stress in normal mice and mice carrying mutations of relevance to human depression.

Board Certifications

  • Psychiatry

    Education & Training

  • University of California San Francisco School of Medicine
  • Residency: New York State Psychiatric Institute
  • Residency: NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia University Medical Center


  • Herbert Pardes Building of the New York State Psychiatric Institute

    1051 Riverside Drive
    Unit: 87
    New York, NY 10032
    For new and current patient appointments, call:
    (212) 543-5309

Provider Affiliations

  • NewYork-Presbyterian/Columbia

Lab Locations

  • Kolb Research Annex

    40 Haven Avenue
    Room 136
    New York, NY 10032
    (646) 774-7116
    (646) 774-7101
    Lab Phone:
    (646) 774-7111

Research Interests

  • Cognitive/Systems Neuroscience
  • Neurogenetics
  • Models of Psychiatric Disorders
  • Synapses and Circuits
  • Neurobiology of Disease
  • Psychiatry


Stujenske, J.M., E. Likhtik, M.A. Topiwala, and J.A. Gordon (2014). Fear and safety engage competing patterns of theta-gamma coupling in the basolateral amygdala. Neuron, 83:919-933.

Likhtik, E., J.M. Stujenske, M. Topiwala, A.Z. Harris, and J.A. Gordon (2014). Prefrontal entrainment of amygdala activity signals safety in learned fear and innate anxiety. Nat. Neurosci. 17:106-113

O’Neill, P.-K., J.A. Gordon, and T. Sigurdssson (2013). Theta oscillations in the medial prefrontal cortex are modulated by spatial working memory and synchronize with the hippocampus through its ventral subregion. J. Neurosci. 33:14211-14224.

Ahmari, S.E., T. Spellman, N.L. Douglass, M.A. Kheirbeck, K. Deisseroth, J.A. Gordon, R. Hen (2013). Repeated cortico-striatal stimulation generates persistent OCD-like behavior. Science 340:1234-1239. 

Parnaudeau, S., P.K. O’Neill, S. Bolkan, R.D. Ward, A.I. Abbas, B.L. Roth, P. Balsam, J.A. Gordon, and C. Kellendonk (2013). Inhibition of medio-dorsal thalamus disrupts thalamo-frontal connectivity and cognition. Neuron 77:1151-1162. 

Adhikari, A., M.A. Topiwala, and J.A. Gordon (2011). Single units in the medial prefrontal cortex with anxiety-related firing patterns are preferentially influenced by ventral hippocampal activity. Neuron 71:898-910.

Sigurdsson, T., K.L. Stark, M. Karayiorgou, J.A. Gogos, and J.A. Gordon (2010). Impaired hippocampal-prefrontal synchrony in a genetic mouse model of schizophrenia. Nature 464:763-767.

For a complete list of publications, please visit