Collegiate Affiliation

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.

Educational Background & Specialties
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Educational Background

  • Ph.D.: Psychology, University of Minnesota, 1994


  • neurobehavioural assessment of prefontally-guided behaviors in adults and children
  • neurochemical substrates of human cognition and affect
  • impacts of substance use on adolescent brain development
  • adolescent neurodevelopment