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Barry Waterhouse

Barry Waterhouse, PhD


Department: Neurobiology & Anatomy


  • PhD in Pharmacology - Temple University School of Medicine (1977)

Dr. Barry Waterhouse is a professor in the Department of Neurobiology & Anatomy. He previously served as vice dean of the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences and Professional Studies and interim director of the Division of Biomedical Science Programs.

Research Overview

Research interests:
The role of central monoaminergic systems in brain function and behavior

Research staff: 
Brian Clark, PhD, Brenna Duffy

Graduate students:
Richard Chu, Daniel Chandler, Gerard Zhitnik, Rachel Navarra, Chris Gutoskey

Research Interests

Role of central monoaminergic systems in brain function and behavior


Neurobiology of Monoaminergic Systems

The primary research focus of the Waterhouse laboratory is to understand the role of the central monoaminergic systems in brain function and behavior. More specifically, the lab is concerned with the anatomy and physiology of the brainstem noradrenergic and serotonergic efferent systems as they relate to executive function and the sensory-processing capabilities of an organism.

These studies employ a broad spectrum of neuroanatomical, behavioral, and electrophysiological techniques including microiontophoresis, single unit extracellular recording from anesthetized animals, simultaneous spike train recordings from multiple arrays of single neurons in awake animals, computer-based acquisition and analysis of spike train data, behavioral paradigms for evaluating sustained and flexible attention, mapping of monoamine projections from source nuclei using retrograde tracer substances, and molecular phenotyping of laser captured neurons using rtPCR.

The underlying theme of this work is that synaptically released norepinephrine and serotonin operate as complementary neuromodulatory substances, which regulate the responsiveness of sensory neurons and sensory circuits to synaptic inputs. As such, these systems may play a significant role in the ability of the organism to orient and attend to novel or salient stimuli from the sensory surround.  More recent work focuses on regulation of prefrontal cortical circuit physiology and executive function. 

Clinical implications of this work which have led to related experimental studies are that these monoaminergic systems may underlie some of the behavioral actions of psychostimulant drugs such as cocaine and methylphenidate (Ritalin®) and the cognitive deficits that accompany normal aging, anxiety/PTSD, HIV neuroAIDS, and attention disorders such as ADHD.

Selected Grants Funded

"Phenotypic Diversity of Neurons Modulating Executive Function in ADHD"
Principal investigator: Wen-Jun Gao, PhD (Neurobiology & Anatomy)
Co-investigator: Barry Waterhouse, PhD
Commonwealth Universal Research Enhancement (CURE) Grant (2013)

In the Media


Selected Publications

"Cellular profile of the dorsal raphe lateral wing sub-region: Relationship to the lateral dorsal tegmental nucleus"
Vasudeva RK, Waterhouse BD
J Neurochem. 57-58: 15-23, 2014

"Heterogeneous organization of the locus coeruleus projections to prefrontal and motor cortices"
Chandler DJ, Gao WJ, Waterhouse BD
PNAS 111:6816-6821, 2014

"Effects of intracerebroventricular corticotropin releasing factor on sensory-evoked responses in the rat visual thalamus"
Zitnik GA, Clark BD, Waterhouse BD
Brain Res. 1561:35-47, 2014

"Methylphenidate and atomoxetine enhance sensory-evoked neuronal activity in the rat visual thalamus"
Navarra RL, Clark BD, Zitnick GA, Waterhouse BD
Experimental and Clinical Psychopharmacology  21:363-74, 2013

"Evidence for a regional specificity in the density and distribution of noradrenergic varicosities in rat"
Agster KL, Meijas-Aponte C, Dyutin D, Clark B, and Waterhouse BD
J. Comp Neurol 521:2195-2207, 2013

"Identification and distribution of projections from monoaminergic and cholinergic nuclei to functionally differentiated subregions of prefrontal cortex"
Chandler DJ, Lamperski CS, Waterhouse BD
Brain Res. 1522:38-58, 2013

"Distinct age-dependent effects of methylphenidate on developing and adult prefrontal neurons"
Urban KR, Waterhouse BD, Gao W-J
Biol Psychiat. 6:1-9, 2012

"Corticotropin-releasing factor acting at the locus coeruleus disrupts thalamic and cortical sensory-evoked responses"
Devilbiss DM, Waterhouse BD, Berridge CW, Valentino R
Neuropsychopharmacology 37:2020-30, 2012

"Differential sensitivity to psychostimulants across prefrontal cognitive tasks: differential involvement of noradrenergic α1- and α2-receptors"
Berridge CW, Shumsky JS, Andrzejewski ME, McGaughy JA, Spencer RC, Devilbiss DM, Waterhouse BD
Biol. Psychiatry 201:467-473, 2011

"Atomoxetine facilitates attentional set shifting in adolescent rats"
Cain RE, Wasserman MC, Waterhouse BD, McGaughy
Dev Cogn Neurosci 1:552-559, 2011

"The locus coeruleus-noradrenergic system: modulation of behavioral state and state-dependent cognitive processes"
Berridge CW and Waterhouse BD
Brain Res. Rev. 42: 33-84.  PMID:12668290, 2003.

Contact Information

Research Office

Department of Neurobiology & Anatomy
2900 W. Queen Lane
Philadelphia, PA 19129
Phone: 215.991.8411
Fax: 215.843.5810