Monica M Luciana

Dr. Luciana is a Distinguished McKnight University Professor in the Department of Psychology and has an adjunct affiliation with the UMN Institute of Child Development. Dr. Luciana's research examines brain/behavior relationships in adults and children and the neuroplasticity of neural circuitry during development, as a function of substance use, and in the context of psychopathology. Specifically, she is interested in the neurobiology of executive functions that are mediated by the brain's prefrontal cortex, including working memory, planning, and emotional control as well as reward processing and the neural circuits that promote incentive motivation. Her research program has utilized several approaches to examine these processes: (a) Pharmacological studies of healthy adults; (b) Studies of clinical and neurological populations; (c) Developmental neuroimaging studies of adolescents; and (d) Studies of young adults who use recreational drugs; alcohol and marijuana are of particular interest. The University of Minnesota is a data collection site for the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) Consortium project . Dr. Luciana serves as site PI in collaboration with the Minnesota Center for Twin and Family Research. Her work has been funded by NIDA and NIAAA.

Professor Luciana will be reviewing applications for the Fall 2021 graduate admissions cycle.

Educational Background & Specialties

Educational Background

  • Ph.D.: University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN, 1994.

Curriculum Vitae


  • neurobehavioural assessment of prefontally-guided behaviors in adults and children
  • neurochemical substrates of human cognition and affect
  • adolescent neurodevelopment
  • impacts of substance use on adolescent brain development
Courses Taught
  • Psy 8611 – Intellectual and Neuropsychological Assessment
  • Psy 5993 - Directed Study: Special Areas of Psychology and Related Sciences: Brain Processes, Cognition and Emotion
  • Psy 5064 - Brain and Emotion
  • Psy1001 - Introduction to Psychology, Treatment and Abnormal Psychology component
  • Psy1905 - Freshman Seminar: Your Brain on Drugs
  • Psy1910 - Freshman Seminar: Movies and Madness
  • Psy1912: Brain Science, Drugs and Society
Research & Professional Activities

Professional Activities

  • Adjunct Faculty Member, Institute of Child Development`:
  • Core Faculty Member, Center for Neurobehavioral Development:
  • Camchong, J.Y., Collins, P.F., Becker, M.P., Lim, KO., Luciana, M. (2019). Longitudinal changes in resting brain connectivity in nontreatment seeking young adults with cannabis use disorder. Frontiers in Psychiatry, Link
  • Thijssen, S., Collins, PF, Luciana, M. (2019). Pubertal development mediates the association between family environment and brain development in childhood. . Development and Psychopathology, 1-16.
  • Luciana, Monica Marie, Bjork, J.M., Nagel, B., Barch, D.M., Gonzalez, R., Nixon, S.J., Banich, M.T. (2018). Adolescent neurocognitive development and impacts of substance use: Overview of the Adolescent Brain and Cognitive Development (ABCD) baseline neurocognition battery. Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience, 32, 67-79.
  • Becker, MP, Collins, PF, Lim, KO, Muetzel, RL., Luciana, M. (2015). Longitudinal changes in white matter microstructure after heavy cannabis use. Developmental cognitive neuroscience, 16, 23-35.
  • Silverman, MH, Jedd, K., Luciana, M. (2015). Neural networks involved in adolescent reward processing: An activation likelihood estimation meta-analysis of functional neuroimaging studies. NeuroImage, 122, 427-439.
  • Urošević, S., Collins, P., Muetzel, R., Lim, K.O., & Luciana, M (2014). Pubertal status associations with reward and threat sensitivities and subcortical brain volumes during adolescence. Brain and Cognition, 89, 15-26.
  • Luciana, M., Collins, P.F., Muetzel, R., & Lim K.O. (2013). Effects of alcohol use initiation on brain structure in typically developing adolescents. American Journal of Drug & Alcohol Abuse, 39(6), 345-355.
  • Luciana, M., Wahlstrom, D., Collins, P.F. & Porter, J.N. (2012). Dopaminergic modulation of incentive motivation in adolescence: age-related changes in signaling, individual differences, and implications for the development of self-regulation. Developmental Psychology, 48(3), 844-861.
  • McKnight Land-Grant Professorship, 2001 - 2003
  • Distinguished McKnight University Professorship, 2017 - present
  • Award for Outstanding Contributions to Postbaccalaureate, Graduate, and Professional Education, 2019 - present