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  8. John Talpos
  1. Science & Research (NCTR)

John Talpos Ph.D.

Acting Director, Division of Neurotoxicology

Dr. John Talpos
John Talpos, Ph.D.

(870) 543-7121

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 About  |  Publications  |  Lab Members


In 2000, Dr. John Talpos graduated from Kalamazoo College in Michigan with a bachelor’s degree in psychology and biology and then subsequently attended the University of Cambridge in the United Kingdom. He earned a Master of Philosophy degree in 2002 working with Dr. Trevor Robbins on the role of serotonin (5-HT) in impulsivity. After completing his MPhil, he took a research position at Pfizer in Kalamazoo, Michigan where he performed various behavioral experiments in support of drug-development projects. In 2003, Dr. Talpos returned to Cambridge to work on a project developing novel, touchscreen-based, translational models of human cognition for the drug-discovery process. In 2007, he graduated from the University of Cambridge with a Ph.D. from the Department of Experimental Psychology and took a position as a post-doctoral fellow at Eli Lilly in the United Kingdom. In 2009, Dr. Talpos moved to Janssen Research and Development in Belgium where he established a translational cognition lab to evaluate novel treatments for schizophrenia and Alzheimer’s disease. While at Janssen, his primary responsibilities were to screen compounds for pro-cognitive effects and provide support and expertise for drug-hunting teams. He also managed several drug targets in the “hit to lead” stage. Externally, Dr. Talpos played an active role in the Cognitive Neuroscience Approaches to the Treatment of Impaired Cognition in Schizophrenia  initiative, serving as co-leader for the working memory and perception sections. He has also been involved in several large, public-private consortiums (Innovative Medicines Initiative projects) sponsored by the European Union designed to address bottle necks in the drug-discovery process for schizophrenia, autism, and Alzheimer’s disease. In 2016, Dr. Talpos joined NCTR where he now manages the multi-species Complex Brain Function lab. His current research focus is on the long-term consequences of perinatal anesthesia exposure.

Research Interests

Throughout Dr. Talpos’s career, his primary research interest has always been translational models of human cognition, with a special interest in working memory, executive function, visual perception, and the hippocampus. The goal of his research has typically been to understand the mechanisms behind cognitive disruption, in an attempt to treat these impairments. Until 2016, Dr. Talpos focused on cognitive disruption in central nervous system (CNS) disorders, such as schizophrenia, Alzheimer’s disease, and autism. While he still retains a strong interest in those CNS disorders, since joining NCTR his research focus has switched to studying cognitive dysfunctions triggered by neurotoxic insults. At the moment, the majority of his efforts are focused on evaluating the effects of perinatal anesthesia on neurodegeneration and cognition.

Because of Dr. Talpos’s interest in the “translational” approach, he has become a world leader in the use of touchscreen-equipped operant boxes (essentially training a rodent to respond to an iPad for food pellet rewards) for modeling CNS disorders. This approach has allowed him to adapt clinical tests for use in rodents and test them in a “human-like” manner. By using “human” tests in the rodents, he hopes to increase the applicability of his pre-clinical findings. In 2016, he moved away from the touchscreen approach to using NCTR’s operant test battery (OTB). The OTB has been designed to evaluate cognition across species using nearly identical test conditions. In conjunction with Dr. John Chelonis (NCTR and Arkansas Children’s Hospital) who leads the clinical OTB effort, Dr. Talpos’s laboratory is able to effectively translate results between species to reduce uncertainty about the potential harmful effects of neurotoxicant exposures.   

Professional Societies/National and International Groups

American College of Neuropsychopharmacology
Symposium Discussant

European Brain and Behavior Society
Symposium Chair 

Society for Neuroscience
2009 – Present


Selected Publications

Do Wholes Become More Than the Sum of Their Parts in the Rodent (Rattus Norvegicus) Visual System? A Test Case with the Configural Superiority Effect.
Talpos JC, de-Wit L, Olley J, Riordan J, Steckler T.
Eur J Neurosci. 2016 Oct; 44(8): 2593-2599. doi: 10.1111/ejn.13350.

Dissociable Effects of NR2A and NR2B NMDA Receptor Antagonism on Cognitive Flexibility but not Pattern Separation.
Kumar G, Olley J, Steckler T, Talpos J.
Psychopharmacology (Berl). 2015 Nov; 232(21-22): 3991-4003. doi: 10.1007/s00213-015-4008-9.

The Subchronic Phencyclidine Rat Model: Relevance for the Assessment of Novel Therapeutics for Cognitive Impairment Associated with Schizophrenia.
Janhunen SK, Svärd H, Talpos J, Kumar G, Steckler T, Plath N, Lerdrup L, Ruby T, Haman M, Wyler R, Ballard TM.
Psychopharmacology (Berl). 2015 Nov; 232(21-22): 4059-83. doi: 10.1007/s00213-015-3954-6.

Opposing Effects of Glutamatergic and GABAergic Pharmacological Manipulations on a Visual Perception Task with Relevance to Schizophrenia.
Talpos JC, Riordan J, Olley J, Waddell J, Steckler T.
Psychopharmacology (Berl). 2015 Nov; 232(21-22): 3967-76. doi: 10.1007/s00213-015-3964-4.

MK-801 and Amphetamine Result in Dissociable Profiles of Cognitive Impairment in a Rodent Paired Associates Learning Task with Relevance for Schizophrenia.
Talpos J, Aerts N, Waddell J, Steckler T.
Psychopharmacology (Berl). 2015 Nov; 232(21-22): 3911-20. doi: 10.1007/s00213-015-3934-x.

Executive Function.
Talpos J, Shoaib M.
Handb Exp Pharmacol. 2015; 228: 191-213. doi: 10.1007/978-3-319-16522-6_6.

Strain-Dependent Effects on Acquisition and Reversal of Visual and Spatial Tasks in a Rat Touchscreen Battery of Cognition.
Kumar G, Talpos J, Steckler T.
Physiol Behav. 2015 May; 144: 26-36. doi: 10.1016/j.physbeh.2015.03.001.

Biased MGlu5-Positive Allosteric Modulators Provide In Vivo Efficacy Without Potentiating MGlu5 Modulation of NMDAR Currents.
Rook JM, Xiang Z, Lv X, Ghoshal A, Dickerson JW, Bridges TM, Johnson KA, Foster DJ, Gregory KJ, Vinson PN, Thompson AD, Byun N, Collier RL, Bubser M, Nedelcovych MT, Gould RW, Stauffer SR, Daniels JS, Niswender CM, Lavreysen H, Mackie C, Conde-Ceide S, Alcazar J, Bartolomé-Nebreda JM, Macdonald GJ, Talpos JC, Steckler T, Jones CK, Lindsley CW, Conn PJ.
Neuron. 2015 May; 86(4): 1029-40. doi: 10.1016/j.neuron.2015.03.063.

Re-Evaluating the PCP Challenge as a Pre-Clinical Model of Impaired Cognitive Flexibility in Schizophrenia.
Fellini L, Kumar G, Gibbs S, Steckler T, Talpos J.
Eur Neuropsychopharmacol. 2014 Nov; 24(11): 1836-49. doi: 10.1016/j.euroneuro.2014.08.012.

A Touch-Screen Based Paired-Associates Learning (PAL) Task for The Rat May Provide a Translatable Pharmacological Model of Human Cognitive Impairment.
Talpos JC, Aerts N, Fellini L, Steckler T.
Pharmacol Biochem Behav. 2014 Jul; 122: 97-106. doi: 10.1016/j.pbb.2014.03.014.

Assessing Behavioural and Cognitive Domains of Autism Spectrum Disorders in Rodents: Current Status and Future Perspectives.
Kas MJ, Glennon JC, Buitelaar J, Ey E, Biemans B, Crawley J, Ring RH, Lajonchere C, Esclassan F, Talpos J, Noldus LP, Burbach JP, Steckler T.
Psychopharmacology (Berl). 2014 Mar; 231(6): 1125-46. doi: 10.1007/s00213-013-3268-5.

Animal Models and Measures of Perceptual Processing in Schizophrenia.
Siegel SJ, Talpos JC, Geyer MA.
Neurosci Biobehav Rev. 2013 Nov; 37(9 Pt B): 2092-8. doi: 10.1016/j.neubiorev.2013.06.016.

Animal Models of Working Memory: A Review of Tasks That Might be Used in Screening Drug Treatments for the Memory Impairments Found in Schizophrenia.
Dudchenko PA, Talpos J, Young J, Baxter MG.
Neurosci Biobehav Rev. 2013 Nov; 37(9 Pt B): 2111-24. doi: 10.1016/j.neubiorev.2012.03.003.

Touching On Translation.
Talpos J, Steckler T.
Cell Tissue Res. 2013 Oct; 354(1): 297-308. doi: 10.1007/s00441-013-1694-7.

Severe Cross-Modal Object Recognition Deficits in Rats Treated Sub-Chronically with NMDA Receptor Antagonists are Reversed by Systemic Nicotine: Implications for Abnormal Multisensory Integration in Schizophrenia.
Jacklin DL, Goel A, Clementino KJ, Hall AW, Talpos JC, Winters BD.
Neuropsychopharmacology. 2012 Sep; 37(10): 2322-31. doi: 10.1038/npp.2012.84.

NMDA Receptors, Cognition and Schizophrenia--Testing the Validity of the NMDA Receptor Hypofunction Hypothesis.
Gilmour G, Dix S, Fellini L, Gastambide F, Plath N, Steckler T, Talpos J, Tricklebank M.
Neuropharmacology. 2012 Mar; 62(3): 1401-12. doi: 10.1016/j.neuropharm.2011.03.015.

Trial-Unique, Delayed Nonmatching-To-Location (TUNL): A Novel, Highly Hippocampus-Dependent Automated Touchscreen Test of Location Memory and Pattern Separation.
Talpos JC, McTighe SM, Dias R, Saksida LM, Bussey TJ.
Neurobiol Learn Mem. 2010 Oct;94(3):341-52. doi: 10.1016/j.nlm.2010.07.006. Epub 2010 Aug 6.

A Novel Touchscreen-Automated Paired-Associate Learning (PAL) Task Sensitive to Pharmacological Manipulation of The Hippocampus: A Translational Rodent Model of Cognitive Impairments in Neurodegenerative Disease.
Talpos JC, Winters BD, Dias R, Saksida LM, Bussey TJ.
Psychopharmacology (Berl). 2009 Jul; 205(1): 157-68. doi: 10.1007/s00213-009-1526-3.

Hippocampal Lesions in Rats Impair Learning and Memory for Locations on a Touch-Sensitive Computer Screen: The "ASAT" Task.
Talpos JC, Dias R, Bussey TJ, Saksida LM.
Behav Brain Res. 2008 Oct; 192(2): 216-25. doi: 10.1016/j.bbr.2008.04.008.

A Comparison of Multiple 5-HT Receptors in Two Tasks Measuring Impulsivity.
Talpos JC, Wilkinson LS, Robbins TW.
J Psychopharmacol. 2006 Jan; 20(1): 47-58.


Lab Members

Contact information for all lab members:
(870) 543-7121

Charles (Matt) Fogle, B.S.
Research Biologist

Benjamin (Max) Ford, Ph.D.
ORISE Post-doctoral fellow

Contact Information
John Talpos
(870) 543-7121
Technology & Discipline
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