Faculty Profile

Professional Interests

Dr. Brown has studied the function and neuroanatomy of the basal ganglia. Most importantly, she showed a high resolution map of the body in the striatum of rats and proposed that the striatum is a combinational “map” for sensorimotor, cognitive and emotional stimuli. Currently, she studies love, relationship factors and personality by using brain imaging techniques in humans. She also participates in work on cerebral correlates of mobility, executive function and imagining walking in normal aging.

Selected Publications

Functional Neuroanatomy of the Basal Ganglia

Lawhorn C, Smith DM, Brown LL. Partial ablation of mu-opioid receptor rich striosomes produces deficits on a motor-skill learning task, Neuroscience 163:109-19, 2009

Breuer, O., Lawhorn, C., Miller, T., Smith, D.M., Brown, L.L.  Functional architecture of the mammalian striatum: Mouse vascular and striosome organization and their anatomic relationships. Neuroscience Letters, 385:198-203, 2005.

Brown, L.L., Makman, M.H., Wolfson, L.I., Dvorkin, B., Warner, C. and Katzman, R. A Direct Role of Dopamine in the Rat Subthalamic Nucleus and an Adjacent Intra peduncular Area. Science, 206:1416 1418, 1979.

Brown, L.L. Somatotopic Organization in Rat Striatum: Evidence for a Combinational Map, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 89:7403-7407, 1992.

Sharp, F.R., Rando, T.A., Greenberg, S.A., Brown, L.L., Sagar, S.M. Pseudochoreoathetosis: Movements Associated with Loss of Proprioception, Archives of Neurology, 51:1103-1109, 1994.

Brown, L.L., Hand, P.J., Divac, I. The Representation of a single vibrissa in the rat neostriatum: peaks of metabolism reveal a distributed functional module, Neuroscience, 75:717-728, 1996.

Brown, L.L., Smith, D.M., Goldbloom, L. Organizing principles for cortical integration in the rat neostriatum: the body surface map is an ordered lattice of curved laminae and radial points, Journal of Comparative Neurology, 392 (4): 468-488, 1998.

Brown, L.L., Feldman, S.M., Smith, D.M., Cavanaugh, J.R., Ackermann, R.F. and Graybiel, A.M.: Differential metabolic activity in the striosome and matrix compartments of the rat striatum during natural behaviors, Journal of Neuroscience, 22(1):305-314, 2002.


Romantic Love Studies


Fisher H, Aron A, Brown LL. Romantic love: an fMRI study of a neural mechanism for mate choice, Journal of Comparative Neurology 5;493(1):58-62, 2005.

Aron, A. Fisher, H.E., Mashek, D.J., Strong, G. Li. H-f., Brown, L.L.  Reward, Motivation and Emotion Systems Associated with Early-Stage Intense Romantic Love.  Journal of Neurophysiology 94:327-37, 2005.

Fisher HE, Aron A, Brown LL. Romantic Love: a mammalian brain system for mate choice. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society London B Biological Sciences. Dec 29;361(1476):2173-86, 2006. Review.

Helen E. Fisher, Lucy L. Brown, Arthur Aron, Greg Strong, Debra Mashek. Reward, Addiction, and Emotional Regulation Systems associated with Rejection in Love. Journal of Neurophysiology 104:51-60, 2010.

Frascella, J, Potenza MN, Brown LL, Childress AR. Shared brain vulnerabilities open the way for nonsubstance addictions: carving addiction at a new joint? Annals of the NY Acacemy of Sciences 1187:294-315, 2010

Xiaomeng Xu, Arthur Aron, Lucy Brown, Guikang Cao, Tingyong Feng, Xuchu Weng. Reward and Motivation Systems: A Brain Mapping Study of Early-Stage Intense Romantic Love in Chinese Participants. Human Brain Mapping Feb;32(2):249-57, 2011.

Acevedo, B., Aron, A., Fisher, H., Brown, LL. Neural correlates of long-term intense romantic love. Social, Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience. Feb;7(2):145-59, 2012.

Acevedo B, Aron A, Fisher HE, Brown LL. Neural correlates of marital satisfaction and well-being: reward, empathy and affect. Clinical Neuropsychiatry 9:20-31, 2012.

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Albert Einstein College of Medicine
Jack and Pearl Resnick Campus
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Bronx, NY 10461

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Research Information

In the News

Voice of America interviews Dr. Lucy Brown about her research demonstrating that feelings of intense love activate the reward centers in the brain, the same areas associated with the desire for food, water and even cocaine addiction.

Time interviews Dr. Lucy Brown about her recent study that links romantic rejection to brain activity associated with motivation, reward and addiction cravings.

More media coverage