Rachel Alison Adcock

Rachel Alison Adcock

Associate Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences

External Address: 
Center for Cognitive Neuroscie, Durham, NC 27708
Internal Office Address: 
Box 90999, Durham, NC 27708-0999


Dr. Adcock received her undergraduate degree in psychology from Emory University and her MD and PhD in Neurobiology from Yale University.  She completed her psychiatry residency training at Langley Porter Psychiatric Institute at UC-San Francisco and did neurosciences research as a postdoctoral fellow at UC-SF, the San Francisco VA Medical Center, and Stanford before joining the Duke faculty in 2007. Her work has been funded by NIDA, NIMH, NSF and Alfred P. Sloan and Klingenstein Fellowships in the Neurosciences, and the Brain & Behavior Research Foundation, and honored by NARSAD awards, the 2012 National Academy of Sciences Seymour Benzer Lectureship, and the 2015 ABAI BF Skinner Lectureship. The overall goals of her research program are to understand how brain systems for motivation support learning and to use mechanistic understanding of how behavior changes biology to meet the challenge of developing new therapies appropriate for early interventions for mental illness.

Education & Training

  • Ph.D., Yale University 1999

  • M.D., Yale University School of Medicine 1999

Adcock, R. Alison, et al. “When top-down meets bottom-up: auditory training enhances verbal memory in schizophrenia.Schizophr Bull, vol. 35, no. 6, Nov. 2009, pp. 1132–41. Pubmed, doi:10.1093/schbul/sbp068. Full Text

Carter, R. McKell, et al. “Activation in the VTA and nucleus accumbens increases in anticipation of both gains and losses.Front Behav Neurosci, vol. 3, 2009, p. 21. Pubmed, doi:10.3389/neuro.08.021.2009. Full Text

Adcock, R. Alison, et al. “Reward-motivated learning: mesolimbic activation precedes memory formation.Neuron, vol. 50, no. 3, May 2006, pp. 507–17. Pubmed, doi:10.1016/j.neuron.2006.03.036. Full Text

Knutson, Brian, and R. Alison Adcock. “Remembrance of rewards past.Neuron, vol. 45, no. 3, Feb. 2005, pp. 331–32. Pubmed, doi:10.1016/j.neuron.2005.01.020. Full Text

Adcock, R. A., et al. “Functional neuroanatomy of executive processes involved in dual-task performance.Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A, vol. 97, no. 7, Mar. 2000, pp. 3567–72. Pubmed, doi:10.1073/pnas.060588897. Full Text

Lane, J. D., et al. “Respiratory sinus arrhythmia and cardiovascular responses to stress.Psychophysiology, vol. 29, no. 4, July 1992, pp. 461–70. Pubmed, doi:10.1111/j.1469-8986.1992.tb01720.x. Full Text

Lane, J. D., et al. “Caffeine effects on cardiovascular and neuroendocrine responses to acute psychosocial stress and their relationship to level of habitual caffeine consumption.Psychosom Med, vol. 52, no. 3, May 1990, pp. 320–36. Pubmed, doi:10.1097/00006842-199005000-00006. Full Text