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aNeural Systems Laboratory

Maria L. A. Medalla


Contact Information




Research Summary


My work focuses on the organization of corticocortical inputs and outputs of prefrontal areas involved in working memory. My previous work involved visuomotor (FEF, caudal area 46) and auditory-related (areas 10, 32, 9 and 46) prefrontal areas and their long-range connections with posterior parietal (areas 7a and LIP) and auditory (STG) cortices, respectively.  I'm generally interested on how these inter-areal connections interface with the local microcircuits in prefrontal cortex, especially with local inhibitory microcircuits. My current work focuses on the global and synaptic organization of intrinsic connections that link distinct, yet functionally overlapping, prefrontal areas - specifically how these different pathways differ in laminar density, distribution, ultrastructural features, and their relationship with different types of inhibitory interneurons.


Academic Awards, Honors and Achievements


2003 – Present

Boston University, graduate research fellow


Phi Sigma Biological Honors Society


Phi Kappa Phi Honors Society


Professional Experience


2002 – Present

Pre-Doctoral Fellow/Ph.D. Research, Boston University, Dr. Helen Barbas, Neural Systems Laboratory, Department of Health Sciences



2002 – Present

Doctoral thesis in Neuroscience, Department of Health Sciences, Boston University. Degree expected Spring 2007. Advisor: Helen Barbas, Ph.D.

1997 – 2001

Bachelor of Science, Biology, University of the Philippines, Diliman.

Thesis: Urban Biodiversity - Families Acanthaceae, Amaryllidaceae, Araceae, Commelinaceae, Sterculiaceae, and Verbenaceae in the University of the Philippines campus, Diliman, Quezon City.




Medalla M, Barbas H (2006) Diversity of laminar connections linking periarcuate and lateral intraparietal areas depends on cortical structure. Eur J Neurosci. 23(1):161-79.


Barbas H, Medalla M, Alade O, Suski J, Zikopoulos B, Lera P (2005) Relationship of prefrontal connections to inhibitory systems in superior temporal areas in the rhesus monkey. Cereb Cortex 15: 1356-1370.


Published Abstracts


Medalla M and Barbas H (2005) Cortical density predicts complex laminar patterns of prefrontal-intraparietal connections. Neuroscience Abstract 2005.


Medalla M and Barbas H (2004) Laminar organization of connections between posterior lateral prefrontal and lateral intraparietal areas. International Conference on Cognitive and Neural Systems (ICCNS), 2004. Boston, MA.

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