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J. Leigh Leasure, Ph.D.

Leigh Leisure

Director of Brain Health & Plasticity Lab
Developmental, Cognitive, & Behavioral Neuroscience
Ph.D., University of Texas at Austin

Health 1, Room 434

Research Interests

  • Exercise-driven neuroplasticity
  • Sex-dependent effects of alcohol on brain and behavior
  • Neural consequences of pediatric radiotherapy
  • Hippocampal neurogenesis


  • PSYC 3341: Physiological Psychology
  • PSYC 4354: Brain and Behavior
  • PSYC 6397: Functional Neuroanatomy
  • PSYC 7342: Biological Bases of Behavior


Brain Health & Plasticity Lab

Selected Publications

Maynard ME, Barton EA, Robinson C, Wooden J & Leasure JL (2018) Sex differences in hippocampal damage, cognitive impairment, and trophic factor expression in an animal model of an alcohol use disorder. Brain Structure & Function, 223:195-210.

West RK, Maynard ME & Leasure JL (2018) Binge alcohol effects on prefrontal cortex neurons, spatial working memory and task-induced neuronal activation in male and female rats. Physiology & Behavior, 188:79-85.

Sahnoune I, Inoue T, Rodgers SP, Pedersen S, Zawaski JA, Nelson KH, Ris MD, Leasure JL & Gaber MW (2018) Exercise ameliorates neurocognitive impairments in a translational model of pediatric radiotherapy. Neuro-oncology, 20:695-704.

Maynard ME, Chung C, Comer A, Nelson K, Tran J, Werries N, Barton E & Leasure JL (2016) Ambient temperature influences the neural benefits of exercise. Behavioural Brain Research, 299:27-31.

Leasure JL, Neighbors C, Henderson CE & Young CM (2015) Exercise and alcohol consumption: what we know, what we need to know and why it is important. Frontiers in Psychiatry 6: Article 156, doi: 10.3389.