David Beversdorf

David Beversdorf
Professor (Radiology, Neurology, and Psychology)
Research Interests: 

Dr. Beversdorf is currently involved in research on autism, dementia, cognitive effects of stress, the cognitive neuroscience of problem solving ability, functional neuroimaging, and pharmacological modulation of cognition. His work has been published in journals such as Neurology, Journal of Neurology Neuroscience and Psychiatry, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United State of America and Lancet. He is also actively involved in the Brain Imaging Center at the University of Missouri. His research has been funded by National Institute of Neurological Diseases and Stroke, National Institute On Drug Abuse, Department of Defense, the Stallone Fund and the National Alliance for Autism Research. He has joined the University of Missouri in the departments of Radiology, Neurology, Psychology and the Thompson Center as an Associate Professor to focus on the field of autism, with particular interest in pharmaco-functional neuroimaging as a potential treatment marker, and gene/stress interactions in the development of autism.


Dr. Beversdorf graduated from Indiana University and completed Neurology residency at Dartmouth. After his fellowship in Behavioral Neurology at University of Florida, he joined the Ohio State University faculty. He has published on memory disorders, autism, cognitive neuroscience, fMRI, neurpsychopharmacology and drug addiction. He joined the University of Missouri (Radiology, Neurology, Psychology and the Thompson Center) to focus on autism, with particular interest in pharmacofMRI as a potential treatment marker, and gene/stress interactions in autism.

Selected Publications: 


  1. Beversdorf DQ, Smith BW, Crucian G, Anderson JM, Keillor J, Barrett A, Hughes J, Felopulos GJ, Bauman ML, Nadeau SE, Heilman KM. Increased discrimination of “false memories” in autism spectrum disorder. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. 2000:97:8734-8737.
  2. Hillier A, Campbell H, Keillor J, Phillips N, Beversdorf, DQ. Decreased false memory for visually presented shapes and symbols among adults on the autism spectrum. Journal of Clinical and Experimental Neuropsychology. 2007;29:610-616.
  3. Beversdorf DQ, Narayanan A, Hillier A, Hughes JD. Network model of decreased context utilization in autism spectrum disorder. J Autism Devel Disord. 2007;37:1040-1048.
  4. Tivarus ME, Hillier A, Schmalbrock P, Beversdorf DQ. Functional connectivity in an fMRI study of semantic and phonological processes and the effect of L-DOPA. Brain and Language. 2008;104:42-50.
  5. Beversdorf DQ, Carpenter AL, Miller RF, Cios JS, Hillier A. Effect of propranolol on verbal problem solving in autism spectrum disorder. Neurocase. 2008; 14: 378-383.
  6. Heilman KM, Nadeau SE, Beversdorf DQ. Creative innovation: possible brain mechanisms. Neurocase 2003;9:369-379.
  7. Tivarus ME, Ibinson JW, Hillier A, Schmalbrock P, Bevesdorf DQ. An fMRI study of semantic priming: modulation of brain activity by varying semantic distances. Cogn Behav Neurol. 2006;19:194-201.
  8. Choi Y, Novak JC, Hillier A, Votolato NA, Beversdorf DQ. The effect of alpha-2 adrenergic agonists on memory and cognitive flexibility. Cognitive and Behavioral Neurology. 2006;19:204-207
  9. Alexander JK, Hillier A, Smith RM, Tivarus ME, Beversdorf DQ. Beta-adrenergic modulation of cognitive flexibility during stress. Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience. 2007;19:468-478.
  10. Beversdorf DQ, Ferguson JLW Hillier A, Sharma UK, Nagaraja HN, Bornstein RA, Scharre DW. Problem solving ability in patients with mild cognitive impairment. Cognitive and Behavioral Neurology. 2007;20:44-47.
  11. Hillier A, Fish T, Cloppert P, Beversdorf DQ. Outcomes of a social skills support group for adolescents and young adults on the autism spectrum. Focus on Autism and Other Developmental Disabilities. 2007;22:107-115.
  12. Beversdorf DQ, Sharma UK, Phillips NN, Notestine MA, Slivka AP, Friedman NM, Schneider SL, Nagaraja HN, Hillier. Effect of propranolol on naming in chronic Broca’s aphasia with anomia. Neurocase. 2007;13:256-259.
  13. Campbell HL, Tivarus ME, Hillier A, Beversdorf DQ. Increased task difficulty results in greater benefit of noradrenergic modulation of cognitive flexibility. Pharmacology, Biochemistry & Behavior. 2008; 88: 222-229.
  14. Kelley BJ, Yeager KR, Pepper TH, Bornstein RA, Beversdorf DQ. The effect of propranolol on cognitive flexibility and memory in acute cocaine withdrawal. Neurocase. 2007;13:320-327.
  15. Beversdorf DQ, Hughes JD, Heilman KM. Functional MRI of the primary somatosensory corted in extinction to simultaneous bilateral tactile stimuli due to right temporal lobe stroke. Neurocase, 2008; 14:419-424.
  16. Beversdorf DQ, Carpenter AL,  Miller RF, Cios JS, Hillier A.  Effect of propranolol on verbal problem solving in autism spectrum disorder.  Neurocase.  2008;14:378-383.
  17. Tivarus ME, Hillier A, Schmalbrock P, Beversdorf DQ.  Functional connectivity in an fMRI study of semantic and phonological processes and the effect of L-DOPA.  Brain and Language.  2008;104:42-50.
  18. Smith RM, Beversdorf DQ.  Effects of semantic relatedness on recall of stimuli preceding emotional oddballs.  Journal of the International Neuropsychological Society.  2008;14:620-628.
  19. Pederzolli AS, Tivarus ME, Agrawal P, Kostyk SK, Thomas KM, Beversdorf DQ.  Dopaminergic modulation of semantic priming in Parkinson disease.  Cognitive and Behavioral Neurology.  2008;21:134-137.
  20. Jones KL, Smith RM, Edwards KS, Givens B, Tilley MR, Beversdorf DQ.  Combined effect of maternal serotonin transporter genotype and prenatal stress in modulating offspring social interaction.  Int J Devel Neurosci. 2010;28:529-36
  21. Kim N, Goel PK, Tivarus M, Hillier A, Beversdorf DQ.  Independent component analysis of the effect of L-dopa on fMRI of language processing.  Plos-ONE.  2010;5(8):e11933.doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0011933
  22. Narayanan A, White CA, Saklayen S, Scaduto MJ, Carpenter AL, Abduljalil A, Schmalbrock P, Beversdorf DQ. Effect of propranolol on functional connectivity in autism spectrum disorder-a pilot study.  Brain Imag Behav.  2010; 4:189-97
  23. Beversdorf DQ, Saklayen S, Higgins KF, Bodner KE, Kanne SM, Christ SE.  Effect of propranolol on word fluency in autism.  Cogn Behav Neurol , 2011;24:11-17.
  24. Beversdorf DQ, Nordgren RE, Bonab AA, Fischman AJ, Weise SB, Dougherty DD, Felopulos GJ, Zhou FC, Bauman ML.  5-HT2 receptor distribution in high-functioning autistic adults with [18F] setoperone PET.  J Neuropsychiatr Clin Neurosci, 2012;24:191-197.
  25. Narayanan A, White CA, Saklayen SS, Abduljalil A, Schmalbrock P, Pepper TH, Lander BN, Beversdorf DQ. Functional connectivity during language processing in acute cocaine withdrawal-a pilot study.  Neurocase, 2012;18:441-449.
  26. Bodner KE, Beversdorf DQ, Saklayen SS, Christ SE.  Noradrenergic moderation of working memory impairments in adults with autism spectrum disorder.  J Intl Neuropsychol Soc, 2012;18:1-9.
  27. Jones KL, Will MJ, Hecht PM, Parker CL, Beversdorf DQ. Maternal diet rich in omega-6 polyunsaturated fatty acids during gestation and lactation produces autistic-like sociability deficits in adult offspring.  Behavioural Brain Res, 2013;238:193-199.
  28. Hecht PM, Will MJ, Schachtman TR, Welby LM, Beversdorf DQ.  Beta-adrenergic antagonist effects on a novel cognitive flexibility task in rodents.  Behav Brain Res, 2014;260:148-154.
  29. Zamzow RM, Christ SE, Saklayen SS, Moffit AJ, Bodner KE, Higgins KF, Beversdorf DQ.  Effect of propranolol on facial scanning in autism spectrum disorder: a preliminary investigation.  J Clin Exp Neuropsychol, 2014;36:431-445.
  30. Beversdorf DQ, Wang P, Barnes G, Weisskopf M, Hardan A, Hu V, Mazurek MO, Talebedizah Z, Goldberg W, Jones KL, Campbell DB, Feliciano P, Spence S, Muller RA, Brown RMA, Kanne SM, Sohl K, Smith DG, London E, Bauman ML, Amaral DG. (2016).  Phenotyping, etiological factors, and biomarkers: toward precision medicine in autism spectrum disorder. Journal of Developmental & Behavioral Pediatrics (epub ahead of print).
  31. Hegarty II, JP, Ferguson BJ, Zamzow RM, Rohowetz LJ, Johnson JD, Christ SE, Beversdorf DQ. (2016). Beta-adrenergic antagonism modulates functional connectivity in the default mode network of individuals with and without autism spectrum disorder.  Brain Imag Behav (epub ahead of print) DOI: 10.1007/s11682-016-9604-8
  32. Ferguson BJ, Marler S, Altstein LL, Lee EB, Mazurek M, McLaughlin A, Macklin EA, McDonnell E, Davis DJ, Belenchia AM, Gillespie CH, Peterson CA, Bauman ML, Margolis KG, Veenstra-VanderWeele J, Beversdorf DQ.  (2016).  Associations between cytokines, endocrine stress response, and gastrointestinal symptoms in autism spectrum disorder.  Brain Behav Immun  (Epub ahead of print) PMID: 2781180.
  33. Zamzow RM, Ferguson BJ, Stichter JP, Porges EC, Ragsdale AS, Lewis ML, Beversdorf DQ.  Effects of propranolol on conversational reciprocity in autism spectrum disorder: a pilot, double-blind, single dose psychopharmacological challenge study.  Psychopharmacology.  2016; 233: 1171-1178.
  34. Hecht PM, Hudson M, Connors SL, Tilley MR, Liu X, Beversdorf DQ.  Maternal serotonin transporter genotype affects risk for ASD with exposure to prenatal stress.  Autism Research.  2016; Epub ahead of print.
  35. Ferguson BJ, Marler S, Altstein LL, Lee EB, Akers J, Sohl K, McLaughlin A, Hartnett K, Kille B, Mazurek M, Macklin EA, McDonnell E, Barstow M, Bauman ML, Margolis KG, Veenstra-VanderWeele J, Beversdorf DQ.  (2016). Psycholphysiological associations with gastrointestinal symptomatology in autism spectrum disorder.  Autism Res (Epub ahead of print) PMID: not yet available.