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Faculty Profile

Phillip Baker Portrait

Phillip M. Baker

Assistant Professor of Psychology

Email: bakerp5@spu.edu
Phone: 206-281-2178
Office: Marston 110


Education: BA, Eastern Mennonite University, 2007; PhD, University of Illinois at Chicago, 2013. At SPU since 2018.

Dr. Phillip Baker is a neuroscientist interested in understanding how the brain combines external sensory, and internal information such as stress, hunger, or fear, to make decisions when faced with difficult choices. A dedicated team of undergraduate research assistants work closely with Dr. Baker to develop, carry out, analyze, and publish this work.

The Baker lab’s work focuses on manipulation of the brain circuits across species including zebrafish and rodents while animals make decisions to understand how changes in this circuitry are related to human health and disease. Additional work aims to determine how pharmacological interventions can aid in the restoration of brain circuitry that has been altered following addiction, damage, or developmental challenges.

Dr. Baker’s teaching focuses on the neural basis of behavior, health, and disease. Selected courses include, Behavioral Neuroscience, Comparative Neuroanatomy of Behavior, Psychopharmacology, and Health Psychology.


Selected publications

*Undergraduates in italics

Gena M. GrospePhillip M. Baker, Michael E. Ragozzino. (2018). Cognitive flexibility deficits following 6-OHDA lesions of the rat dorsomedial striatum. Neuroscience 374, 80-90.

Phillip M. Baker and Sheri J.Y. Mizumori. (2017). Control of behavioral flexibility by the lateral habenula. Pharmacology, Biochemistry and Behavior 162:62-68.

Sheri J.Y. Mizumori and Phillip M. Baker. (2017). The Lateral Habenula and Adaptive Behaviors. Trends in Neuroscience 40(8):481-493.

Phillip M. BakerSummer A. RaynorNikita T. Francis, and Sheri J. Y. Mizumori. (2017). Lateral habenula integration of proactive and retroactive information mediates behavioral flexibility. Neuroscience 345, 89-98.

Phillip M. Baker, Thomas Jhou, Bo Li, Masayuki Matsumoto, Sheri Mizomuri, Marcus Stephenson-Jones, Aleksandra Vicentic. (2016). The lateral Habenula circuitry: reward processing and cognitive control. Journal of Neuroscience 36 (45), 11482-11488.

Anam SyedPhillip M. Baker, Michael E. Ragozzino. (2016) Lesions of the Pedunculopontine Tegmental Nucleus Impair Probabilistic Reversal Learning. Neurobiol Learn Mem. 131:1-8. doi: 10.1016/j.nlm.2016.03.010.

Phillip M. Baker, Sujean E. Oh, Kevan S. Kidder, and Sheri J.Y. Mizumori. (2016). Ongoing behavioral state information signaled in the lateral habenula guides choice flexibility in freely moving rats. Front. Behav. Neurosci. 9:295. doi: 10.3389/fnbeh.2015.00295

Phillip M. Baker, Michael E. Ragozzino. (2014). Contralateral disconnection of the rat prelimbic cortex and dorsomedial striatum impairs cue-guided behavioral switching. Learning and Memory. 2014 Jul 15;21(8):368-79

Please view Dr. Baker’s CV for additional publications.