- Title: Professor
- Group: Cognitive Neuroscience
- Status: Beckman Full-time Faculty
- Home: Psychology
- 1624 Beckman Institute
- 405 North Mathews Avenue
- Urbana, Illinois 61801
Neal J. Cohen received his Ph.D. In Neuroscience from the University of California San Diego, was a postdoc and then Research Scientist at MIT, and a faculty member at The Johns Hopkins University, before joining the faculty of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 1990. He is now Professor of Psychology, Neuroscience, and the Beckman Institute, as well as Director of the Neuroscience Program (NSP), the Center for Nutrition, Learning, and Memory (CNLM), and the Center for Lifelong Improvement of Minds & Brains (CLIMB). His work on human learning and memory has been instrumental in identifying and characterizing multiple memory systems in the brain that support different aspects of performance, and has emphasized development of novel methods and paradigms for assessment of different aspects or forms of memory (e.g., using eye movements as a sensitive measure of memory). Work in his lab includes neuropsychological, functional imaging, and eye tracking studies of memory, intervention studies (exercise, fitness, and cognitive training) across the lifespan, and computational modeling.
Neal Cohen's work at the Beckman Institute combines neuropsychological studies of patients with memory impairments, eye movement monitoring, functional neuroimaging, and computational modeling, in a converging methods approach to understanding more fully the various ways in which experiences are encoded and represented by the brain, and the many manifestations of those representations on subsequent performance.
More specifically, the work is directed at identifying and characterizing the various memory systems of the brain. Special emphasis is on illuminating the functional architecture, the neural substrates, and the different subsystems of the hippocampal memory system, supporting declarative (or relational) memory, as characterized in Cohen and Eichenbaum's comprehensive model of memory, amnesia, and the hippocampal system (see Cohen & Eichenbaum, 1993; Eichenbaum & Cohen, 2001).
In carrying out this research program, Cohen's laboratory has developed novel ways of assessing different kinds of memory, without requiring verbal reports, including the use of eye movement monitoring techniques. The pattern of eye movements elicited when viewing faces, objects, and scenes provides information about the viewer's previous exposure to and memory for the items and their relationships - often before, and even in the absence of, conscious recollection.
Professor Cohen's sources of research funding include NIMH, NIA, and NSF.
Duff, M. C.; Warren, D. E.; Gupta, R.; Vidal, J. P. B.; Tranel, D.; Cohen, N. J., Teasing Apart Tangrams: Testing Hippocampal Pattern Separation with a Collaborative Referencing Paradigm. Hippocampus 2012, 22, (5), 1087-1091
Hannula, D. E.; Baym, C. L.; Warren, D. E.; Cohen, N. J., The Eyes Know: Eye Movements as a Veridical Index of Memory. Psychological Science 2012, 23, (3), 278-287.
Ragland, J. D.; Cohen, N. J.; Cools, R.; Frank, M. J.; Hannula, D. E.; Ranganath, C., Cntrics Imaging Biomarkers Final Task Selection: Long-Term Memory and Reinforcement Learning. Schizophrenia Bulletin 2012, 38, (1), 62-72.
Rubin, R. D.; Brown-Schmidt, S.; Duff, M. C.; Tranel, D.; Cohen, N. J., How Do I Remember That I Know You Know That I Know? Psychological Science 2011, 22, (12), 1574-1582.
Voss, J. L.; Warren, D. E.; Gonsalves, B. D.; Federmeier, K. D.; Tranel, D.; Cohen, N. J., Spontaneous Revisitation During Visual Exploration as a Link among Strategic Behavior, Learning, and the Hippocampus. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 2011, 108, (31), E402-E409.
Voss, M. W.; Chaddock, L.; Kim, J. S.; Vanpatter, M.; Pontifex, M. B.; Raine, L. B.; Cohen, N. J.; Hillman, C. H.; Kramer, A. F., Aerobic Fitness Is Associated with Greater Efficiency of the Network Underlying Cognitive Control in Preadolescent Children. Neuroscience 2011, 199, 166-176.
Warren, D. E.; Duff, M. C.; Tranel, D.; Cohen, N. J., Observing Degradation of Visual Representations over Short Intervals When Medial Temporal Lobe Is Damaged. Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience 2011, 23, (12), 3862-3873.
Westerberg, C. E.; Miller, B. B.; Reber, P. J.; Cohen, N. J.; Paller, K. A., Neural Correlates of Contextual Cueing Are Modulated by Explicit Learning. Neuropsychologia 2011, 49, (12), 3439-3447.
Chaddock, L.; Hillman, C. H.; Buck, S. M.; Cohen, N. J., Aerobic Fitness and Executive Control of Relational Memory in Preadolescent Children. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise 2011, 43, (2), 344-349.
Pontifex, M. B.; Raine, L. B.; Johnson, C. R.; Chaddock, L.; Voss, M. W.; Cohen, N. J.; Kramer, A. F.; Hillman, C. H., Cardiorespiratory Fitness and the Flexible Modulation of Cognitive Control in Preadolescent Children. Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience 2011, 23, (6), 1332-1345.
Voss, J. L.; Gonsalves, B. D.; Federmeier, K. D.; Tranel, D.; Cohen, N. J., Hippocampal brain-network coordination during volitional exploratory behavior enhances learning. Nature Neuroscience 2011, 14, (1), 115-U152.
Williams, L. E.; Must, A.; Avery, S.; Woolard, A.; Woodward, N. D.; Cohen, N.; Heckers, S., Eye-Movement Behavior Reveals Relational Memory Impairment in Schizophrenia. Schizophrenia Bulletin 2011, 37, 234-234.
Duff, M. C.; Hengst, J. A.; Gupta, R.; Tranel, D.; Cohen, N. J., Distributed Impact of Cognitive-Communication Impairment: Disruptions in the Use of Definite References When Speaking to Individuals with Amnesia. Aphasiology 2011, 25, (6-7), 675-687.
Williams, L. E.; Must, A.; Avery, S.; Woolard, A.; Woodward, N. D.; Cohen, N. J.; Heckers, S., Eye-Movement Behavior Reveals Relational Memory Impairment in Schizophrenia. Biological Psychiatry 2010, 68, (7), 617-624.
Gonsalves, B. D.; Cohen, N. J., Brain Imaging, Cognitive Processes, and Brain Networks. Perspectives on Psychological Science 2010, 5, (6), 744-752.
Hannula, D. E.; Althoff, R. R.; Warren, D. E.; Riggs, L.; Cohen, N. J.; Ryan, J. D., Worth a glance: using eye movements to investigate the cognitive neuroscience of memory. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience 2010, 4.
Warren, D. E.; Duff, M. C.; Tranel, D.; Cohen, N. J., Medial temporal lobe damage impairs representation of simple stimuli. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience 2010, 4.
Chaddock, L.; Erickson, K. I.; Prakash, R. S.; Kim, J. S.; Voss, M. W.; VanPatter, M.; Pontifex, M. B.; Raine, L. B.; Konkel, A.; Hillman, C. H.; Cohen, N. J.; Kramer, A. F., A neuroimaging investigation of the association between aerobic fitness, hippocampal volume, and memory performance in preadolescent children. Brain Research 2010, 1358, 172-183.
Duff, M. C.; Hengst, J.; Tranel, D.; Cohen, N. J., Hippocampal amnesia disrupts verbal play and the creative use of language in social interaction. Aphasiology 2009, 23, (7), 926-939.
Gupta, R.; Duff, M. C.; Denburg, N. L.; Cohen, N. J.; Bechara, A.; Tranel, D., Declarative memory is critical for sustained advantageous complex decision-making. Neuropsychologia 2009, 47, (7), 1686-1693.
Taylor, S. E.; Vineyard, C. M.; Healy, M. J.; Caudell, T. P.; Cohen, N. J.; Watson, P.; Eichenbaum, E.; Verzi, S. J.; Morrow, J. D.; Bernard, M. L., Memory in Silico: Building a Neuromimetic Episodic Cognitive Model, Proceedings of the 2009 WRI World Congress on Computer Science and Information Engineering, Los Angeles, CA, 2009; pp 733-737.
Konkel, A.; Cohen, N. J., Relational memory and the hippocampus: Representations and methods. Frontiers in Neuroscience 2009, 3, 166-174.
Pontifex, M. B.; Raine, L. B.; Chaddock, L.; VanPatter, M.; Voss, M. W.; Kim, J. S.; Cohen, N. J.; Kramer, A. F.; Hillman, C. H., Fitness and the Modulation of Cognitive Control in Preadolescent Children. Psychophysiology 2009, 46, S37-S37.
Duff, M. C.; Hengst, J. A.; Tranel, D.; Cohen, N. J., Collaborative discourse facilitates efficient communication and new learning in amnesia. Brain and Language 2008, 106, (1), 41-54.
Duff, M. C.; Hengst, J. A.; Tengshe, C.; Krema, A.; Tranel, D.; Cohen, N. J., Hippocampal amnesia disrupts the flexible use of procedural discourse in social interaction. Aphasiology 2008, 22, (7-8), 866-880.
Duff, M. C.; Wszalek, T.; Tranel, D.; Cohen, N. J., Successful life outcome and management of real-world memory demands despite profound anterograde amnesia. Journal of Clinical and Experimental Neuropsychology 2008, 30, (8), 931-945.
Ferreira, V. S.; Bock, K.; Wilson, M. P.; Cohen, N. J., Memory for Syntax Despite Amnesia. Psychological Science 2008, 19, (9), 940-946.
Duff, M. C.; Hengst, J. A.; Tranel, D.; Cohen, N. J., Taling across time: Using reported speech as a communicative resource in amnesia. Aphasiology 2007, 21, (6-8), 702-716.
Hannula, D. E.; Ryan, J. D.; Tranel, D.; Cohen, N. J., Rapid onset relational memory effects are evident in eye movement behavior, but not in hippocampal amnesia. Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience 2007, 19, (10), 1690-1705.
Ryan, J. D.; Hannula, D. E.; Cohen, N. J., The obligatory effects of memory on eye movements. Memory 2007, 15, (5), 508-525.
Hannula, D. E.; Federmeier, K. D.; Cohen, N. J. Event-related potential signatures of relational memory. Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience 2006, 18, (11), 1863-1876.
Hannula, D. E.; Tranel, D.; Cohen, N. J. The long and the short of it: Relational memory impairments in amnesia, even at short lags Journal of Neuroscience 2006, 26, (32), 8352-8359.
Ryan, J.D.; Cohen, N.J. Processing and short-term retention of relational information in amnesia. Neuropsychologia 2004, 42, 497-511.
Colcombe, S.J.; Kramer, A.F.; Erickson, K.I.; Scalf, P.; McAuley, E.; Cohen, N.J.; Webb, A.; Jerome, G.J.; Marquez, D.X.; and Elavsky, S. Cardiovascular fitness, cortical plasticity, and aging. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 2004, 101, 3316-3321.
Ryan, J.D. and Cohen, N.J. (2003), "Evaluating the neuropsychological dissociation evidence for multiple memory systems," Journal of Cognitive, Affective, and Behavioral Neuroscience, 3/3, pp. 168-185.
Milham, M., Banich, M., Claus, E., and Cohen, N.J. (2003), "Practice-related effects demonstrate complementary roles of anterior cingulate and prefrontal cortices in attentional control," Neuroimage, 18/2, pp. 483-493.
Cohen, N.J. and Banich, M.T. (2003), "Memory," in M.T. Banich, Neuropsychology: The neural bases of mental function, 2nd edition, Boston: Houghton-Mifflin.
Cohen, N.J. (2003), "Declarative memory," in J.H. Byrne, ed., Learning and Memory, Second Edition, MI: Macmillan Reference.
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