Amanda L Elton

Amanda L Elton, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor

Business Phone: (352) 729-4490
Business Email:

About Amanda L Elton

Dr. Amanda Elton received her undergraduate degree in neuroscience at The College of William and Mary. She underwent graduate training at Emory University, where she received a master’s degree in pharmacology, before heading to the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences where she received her PhD in clinical and translational sciences.

Dr. Elton continued her scientific training at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and was awarded a K01 research career development award from NIAAA to study the neural correlates of risk for alcohol use disorder. Her research interests include elucidating the effects of early life stress, heritable risk, and substance on neurocognitive processes relevant for addiction and other forms of psychopathology using neuroimaging and behavioral methods.

Dr. Elton joined the department as an assistant professor. In her role, she will be conducting research in addiction science with a study of lifespan trajectories, psychiatric and medical comorbidities, and application of large data sets to inform science, practice and policy.


Mentored Research Scientist Career Development Award (K01)
2018-current · National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism
Top Poster Award
2018 · North Carolina Triangle Imaging Symposium
The Bowles Center for Alcohol Studies T32 Grant
2015-2018 · University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Women & Sex/Gender Junior Investigator Travel Award for College on Problems of Drug Dependence Annual Meeting
2011 · National Institute on Drug Abuse
Dean's Distinguished Scholar Award
2009-2012 · University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences
Translational Training in Addiction T32 Grant
2009-2012 · University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences
Drug Abuse T32 Training Grant
2008-2009 · Emory University
Pharmacological Sciences T32 Training Grant
2007-2008 · Emory University
Woodruff Scholar Fellowship
2006-2009 · Emory University

Teaching Profile

Courses Taught
GMS6895 CTS Journal Club

Research Profile

Dr. Elton’s research focuses on neurocognitive aspects of addiction such as discounting of delayed rewards, response inhibition, sustained attention, and attentional bias towards rewards and drug cues. By applying innovative functional neuroimaging techniques, she examines how individual differences in activity and connectivity of networks of interconnected brain regions supporting addiction-related behaviors promote or protect against addiction. She also has experience in evaluating effects of interventions on the brain and addiction-related behavioral metrics. She has used fMRI to investigate both brain functional changes and predictors of behavioral and pharmacological treatments for substance use. She also has experience using large, publicly-available neuroimaging data sets in her research, including the Human Connectome Project, ABIDE, and ADHD-200. Drawing from an extensive set of cutting-edge neuroimaging tools, Dr. Elton utilizes both classic and emerging methods in her research with the goal of producing findings that will guide treatment and prevention strategies for addiction.

Dr. Elton’s recent work includes longitudinal investigations of the neurocognitive mechanisms of risk and resilience for alcohol use disorder in emerging adults with a particular focus on early life stress and heritable factors. Her K01-funded research seeks to understand how childhood maltreatment, addiction family history, and genetics interact within the brain to produce vulnerability or resilience to alcohol use disorder and also how these effects differ between the sexes.

She also recently submitted an R01 to extend a series of findings linking attentional processes with resilience to alcohol misuse, which will combine fMRI, behavioral, and pharmacological investigations examining attentional deficits, attentional bias, craving, and longitudinal assessments of alcohol and other substance use. Dr. Elton has a strong interest in probing neurocognitive markers of addiction risk in the ABCD dataset to complement her related studies.

Open Researcher and Contributor ID (ORCID)



The independent and joint effect of socioeconomic status and Multiracial status on the prevalence and frequency of substance use and depression among U.S. adolescents.
Addictive behaviors. 151 [DOI] 10.1016/j.addbeh.2024.107953. [PMID] 38232635.
Family history, childhood maltreatment, and adolescent binge drinking exert synergistic effects on delay discounting and future alcohol use
The American Journal of Drug and Alcohol Abuse. 49(5):652-663 [DOI] 10.1080/00952990.2023.2238242.
Neural Markers of Emotion Reactivity and Regulation Before and After a Targeted Social Rejection: Differences Among Girls With and Without Suicidal Ideation and Behavior Histories.
Biological psychiatry. [DOI] 10.1016/j.biopsych.2023.10.015. [PMID] 37918460.
Review of: “[Commentary] Balancing the bio in a biopsychosocial model of hazardous drinking and alcohol use disorders”
. [DOI] 10.32388/hz1rzc.
Sex moderates family history of alcohol use disorder and childhood maltreatment effects on an fMRI stop‐signal task
Human Brain Mapping. 44(6):2436-2450 [DOI] 10.1002/hbm.26221. [PMID] 36722505.
Acute depletion of dopamine precursors in the human brain: effects on functional connectivity and alcohol attentional bias
Neuropsychopharmacology. 46(8):1421-1431 [DOI] 10.1038/s41386-021-00993-9. [PMID] 33727642.
Altered Cortico-Subcortical Network After Adolescent Alcohol Exposure Mediates Behavioral Deficits in Flexible Decision-Making.
Frontiers in pharmacology. 12 [DOI] 10.3389/fphar.2021.778884. [PMID] 34912227.
High Trait Attention Promotes Resilience and Reduces Binge Drinking Among College Students With a Family History of Alcohol Use Disorder.
Frontiers in psychiatry. 12 [DOI] 10.3389/fpsyt.2021.672863. [PMID] 34054623.
Risk and resilience for alcohol use disorder revealed in brain functional connectivity.
NeuroImage. Clinical. 32 [DOI] 10.1016/j.nicl.2021.102801. [PMID] 34482279.
Intertemporal decision-making-related brain states predict adolescent drug abuse intervention responses
NeuroImage: Clinical. 24 [DOI] 10.1016/j.nicl.2019.101968. [PMID] 31404876.
Multivariate pattern analysis of the neural correlates of smoking cue attentional bias.
Pharmacology, biochemistry, and behavior. 180:1-10 [DOI] 10.1016/j.pbb.2019.03.001. [PMID] 30844426.
Naltrexone Acutely Enhances Connectivity Between the Ventromedial Prefrontal Cortex and a Left Frontoparietal Network
Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research. 43(5):965-978 [DOI] 10.1111/acer.13999. [PMID] 30848494.
COMT Val158Met Polymorphism Exerts Sex-Dependent Effects on fMRI Measures of Brain Function.
Frontiers in human neuroscience. 11 [DOI] 10.3389/fnhum.2017.00578. [PMID] 29270116.
Neural Systems Underlying Individual Differences in Intertemporal Decision-making.
Journal of cognitive neuroscience. 29(3):467-479 [DOI] 10.1162/jocn_a_01069. [PMID] 27779911.
Neural Connectivity Evidence for a Categorical-Dimensional Hybrid Model of Autism Spectrum Disorder
Biological Psychiatry. 80(2):120-128 [DOI] 10.1016/j.biopsych.2015.10.020. [PMID] 26707088.
Effects of childhood maltreatment on the neural correlates of stress- and drug cue-induced cocaine craving.
Addiction biology. 20(4):820-31 [DOI] 10.1111/adb.12162. [PMID] 25214317.
Functional Network Development During the First Year: Relative Sequence and Socioeconomic Correlations.
Cerebral cortex (New York, N.Y. : 1991). 25(9):2919-28 [DOI] 10.1093/cercor/bhu088. [PMID] 24812084.
Task-positive Functional Connectivity of the Default Mode Network Transcends Task Domain.
Journal of cognitive neuroscience. 27(12):2369-81 [DOI] 10.1162/jocn_a_00859. [PMID] 26244722.
Task-related modulation of functional connectivity variability and its behavioral correlations.
Human brain mapping. 36(8):3260-72 [DOI] 10.1002/hbm.22847. [PMID] 26015070.
Childhood maltreatment is associated with a sex-dependent functional reorganization of a brain inhibitory control network.
Human brain mapping. 35(4):1654-67 [DOI] 10.1002/hbm.22280. [PMID] 23616424.
Divergent task-dependent functional connectivity of executive control and salience networks
Cortex. 51:56-66 [DOI] 10.1016/j.cortex.2013.10.012.
Individual differences in attentional bias associated with cocaine dependence are related to varying engagement of neural processing networks.
Neuropsychopharmacology : official publication of the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology. 39(5):1135-47 [DOI] 10.1038/npp.2013.314. [PMID] 24196947.
Intersubject variability of and genetic effects on the brain’s functional connectivity during infancy.
The Journal of neuroscience : the official journal of the Society for Neuroscience. 34(34):11288-96 [DOI] 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.5072-13.2014. [PMID] 25143609.
Network connectivity abnormality profile supports a categorical-dimensional hybrid model of ADHD.
Human brain mapping. 35(9):4531-43 [DOI] 10.1002/hbm.22492. [PMID] 24615988.
Neural network activation during a stop-signal task discriminates cocaine-dependent from non-drug-abusing men.
Addiction biology. 19(3):427-38 [DOI] 10.1111/adb.12011. [PMID] 23231419.
Altered functional connectivity of the insular cortex across prefrontal networks in cocaine addiction.
Psychiatry research. 213(1):39-46 [DOI] 10.1016/j.pscychresns.2013.02.007. [PMID] 23684980.
Neuroeconomics and adolescent substance abuse: individual differences in neural networks and delay discounting.
Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. 52(7):747-755.e6 [DOI] 10.1016/j.jaac.2013.04.013. [PMID] 23800488.


Jan 2024 ACTIVE
Identification of Prospective Predictors of Alcohol Initiation During Early Adolescence
Role: Other
Sep 2022 ACTIVE
The neural mechanisms of risk for alcohol use disorder among college students
Role: Principal Investigator


2012 · University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences
Master of Science
2010 · Emory University
Bachelor of Science
2006 · The College of William and Mary

Contact Details

(352) 729-4490
Business Street: