Ekaterina Dobryakova, PhD

Head shot of Ekaterina Dobryakova, PhD

Research Scientist

Neuromotivation and Network Integrity Laboratory

Dr. Dobryakova conducts clinical research in populations with cognitive dysfunction caused by traumatic brain injury and multiple sclerosis. She incorporates functional neuroimaging in her research, which focuses on the activity of the fronto-striatal network in fatigue and outcome processing in these populations. 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 is the author of 20 peer-reviewed articles, and chapters in the Encyclopedia of Clinical Neuropsychology and Cognition and Behavior in Multiple Sclerosis. Honors include the 2019 International Neuropsychological Society's Early Career Award, a 2016 Switzer Fellowship, funded by the National Institute on Disability Independent Living and Rehabilitation Research (NIDILRR), a 2015 Independent Investigator Grant from the National Multiple Sclerosis (MS) Society, and recognition by the New Jersey Neuropsychological Society. Her research funding includes NIDILRR, National MS Society, New Jersey Health Foundation, and the New Jersey Commission on Brain Injury Research. Dr. Dobryakova was recently elected Co-Chair Elect of the ACRM's Neurodegenerative Diseases Networking Group, serves as Communication Task Force Chair of ACRM's Early Career Networking Group, and is an active member of the communications committee for the Organization for Human Brain Mapping. She is a research assistant professor in the department of physical medicine and rehabilitation at Rutgers New Jersey Medical School.

 Huffington Post articles:

- Keeping Up with Brain Mapping

- Mapping Traumatic Brain Injuries

- Improving Public Health Through Brain Research

The Hidden World of the Brain: The Role of the Basal Ganglia Beyond Movement

Linking Us Together Through Our Rested Brains

American Congress of Rehabilitation Medicine (ACRM) newsletter articles:

Navigating Collaboration

How to Prepare for a Conference

When You Have Nothing to Lose and Everything to Gain, Just Ask!

Caveats and Benefits of Team Work: How to Make the Best of It



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
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

It is no exaggeration to say that motivated behavior and valuation of its outcomes is an integral part of daily life. The cortico-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 traumatic brain injury and multiple sclerosis. Using functional neuroimaging, I investigate the functioning of the cortico-strital network during motivated behavior and its relationship with fatigue and depression. I also explore functional and effective brain connectivity in relationship with cognition in individuals with traumatic brain injury and multiple sclerosis. 


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

Dobryakova E., Hulst, HH., Spirou, A., Chiaravalloti, ND., Genova, HM., Wylie, GR., DeLuca, J. (2017). Fronto-striatal network activation leads to less fatigue in multiple sclerosis. Multiple Sclerosis Journal, Epub.

Wylie GR, Genova HM, DeLuca J, Dobryakova E. (2017). The relationship between outcome prediction and cognitive fatigue: A convergence of paradigms. Cognitive, Affective and Behavioral Neuroscience, Epub.

Dobryakova, E., Rocca, M., Valsasina, P., DeLuca, J., and Filippi, M. (2017). Altered Neural Mechanisms Of Cognitive Control In Patients With Primary Progressive Multiple Sclerosis: An Effective Connectivity Study. Human Brain Mapping, 38, 2580-2588.

Dobryakova, E., Jessup, R.K., and Tricomi, E. (2017). Modulation of Ventral Striatal Activity by Subjective Cognitive Effort. NeuroImage, 147, 330-338. 

Dobryakova, E., Rocca, M., Valsasina, P., Ghezzi, A., Martinelli, V., Comi, G., DeLuca, J., Filippi, M. (2016). Abnormalities of the Executive Control Network in Multiple Sclerosis Phenotypes: An fMRI Effective Connectivity Study. Human Brain Mapping, 37(6), 2293-2304..