Ekaterina Dobryakova, PhD

Head shot of Ekaterina Dobryakova, PhD

Assistant Director, Neuroscience Research


Dr. Dobryakova is a senior research scientist for Kessler Foundation Center for Traumatic Brain Injury Research. She is also the Principal Investigator of the Neuromotivation and Network Integrity lab. She conducts clinical research in populations with cognitive dysfunction caused by traumatic brain injury (TBI) and multiple sclerosis (MS). She is also a Research Assistant Professor in the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at Rutgers-New Jersey Medical School.

Dr. Dobryakova is the author of more than 20 peer-reviewed articles, and several chapters in the Encyclopedia of Clinical Neuropsychology and Cognition and Behavior in Multiple Sclerosis. She is an active member of the ACRM's Neurodegenerative Diseases Networking Group and the communications committee for the Organization for Human Brain Mapping.


Traumatic Brain Injury
Functional Neuroimaging
Multiple Sclerosis
Brain Connectivity
Motivated Behavior
PhD - Psychology, Rutgers University
MA - Psychology, Rutgers University
BA - Psychology, Rutgers University
Early Career Award, International Neuropsychological Society, 2019
Research Mentor of the Year, Kessler Foundation, 2019
Switzer Fellowship, funded by the National Institute on Disability Independent Living and Rehabilitation (NIDILRR), 2016
Independent investigator Grant from the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, 2015
Mitchell Rosenthal Fellow Research Award, Rutgers, New Jersey Medical School, 2014
Recipient of the Student Award, New Jersey Neuropsychological Society, 2014
Recipient of the Student Liaison Award, International Neuropsychological Society, 42nd Annual Meeting, 2014
Research Interests

The fronto-striatal brain network has been shown to play an important role in motivated behavior as well as in fatigue and depression that so many clinical populations experience, including individuals with TBI and MS. Using functional magnetic resonance imaging, Dr. Dobryakova investigates the functioning of the fronto-striatal network during motivated behavior and the network’s relationship with fatigue and depression. Her findings indicate that noninvasive, nonpharmacologic interventions may be useful for addressing deficits in learning processes, and in ameliorating the impact of debilitating cognitive fatigue.

Dr. Dobryakova’s research funding includes National Institutes of Health; the National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research (NIDILRR); National MS Society; New Jersey Health Foundation; and the New Jersey Commission on Brain Injury Research.


View a comprehensive listing of publications for Dr. Dobryakova on Pubmed