Matthew J Wright, PhD

Matthew J Wright, PhD

Investigator, The Lundquist Institute
Assistant Professor of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences, David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA
Director, Neurocognitive Equipotentiality, Recovery & Development (NERD) Research Program at LA BioMed


Traumatic brain injury and cognition

Research Description

The primary focus of his research is to understand and optimize cognitive recovery following traumatic brain injury (TBI). This work has produced novel methods of memory assessment that have been adopted by other researchers (e.g., Item Specific Deficit Approach; ISDA), an index to predict cognitive outcomes in retired professional football players, as well as the finding that early metabolic crisis (a secondary injury mechanism) following TBI is associated with long-term cognitive difficulties. Additionally, much of Dr. Wright’s work has led to the development of a model of memory impairment in TBI. The model includes verbal memory, prospective memory, and activity memory, all of which are relevant to independent functioning (e.g., employment, financial management, etc.). Dr. Wright is currently studying the relationship between independent functioning and this memory model in addition to methods that can improve TBI participants’ memory performances (e.g., brain stimulation, cognitive remediation).
Theme Groups


  • BA, 1997, California State University, Fresno, CA
  • PhD, 2006, Washington State University, Pullman, WA

Recent and/or Significant Publications

  1. Mannino, C., Glenn, T. C., Hovda, D. A., Vespa, P., McArthur, D. L., Van Horn, J. D., & Wright, M. J. (In Press). Increased glucose and lactate metabolism are associated with cognitive recovery following traumatic brain injury. Journal of Neuroscience Research.
  2. Wright, M. J., Woo, E., Birath, J. B., Siders, C. A., Kelly, D. F., Wang, C., Swerdloff, R., Romero, E., Kernan, C., Cantu, R., & Guskiewicz, K. (2016). An index predictive of cognitive outcome in retired professional American football players with a history of sports concussion. Journal of Clinical and Experimental Neuropsychology, 38, 561-571.
  3. Wright, M. J., McArthur, D. L., Alger, J. A., Van Horn, J., Irimia, A., Filippou, M., Glenn, T. C., Hovda, D. A., & Vespa, P. (2013). Early metabolic crisis-related brain atrophy and cognition in traumatic brain injury. Brain Imaging and Behavior, 7, 307-315.
  4. Wright, M. J., Schmitter-Edgecombe, M., & Woo, E. (2010). Verbal memory impairment in severe closed-head injury: The role of encoding and consolidation. Journal of Clinical and Experimental Neuropsychology, 32, 728-736.
  5. Wright, M. J., Woo, E., Schmitter-Edgecombe, M., Hinkin, C. H., Miller, E. N., & Gooding, A. L. (2009). The Item-Specific Deficit Approach (ISDA) to evaluating verbal memory dysfunction: Rationale, psychometrics, and application. Journal of Clinical and Experimental Neuropsychology, 31, 790-802.