Search:   This Site   People   Departments   Penn State

College of the Liberal Arts

PSU ShieldPsychology Banner ImageDepartment ofPsychology

Nancy A. Dennis
Assistant Professor of Psychology

Ph.D., The Catholic University of America, 2004


Mailing Address

Department of Psychology
The Pennsylvania State University
450 Moore Bldg.
University Park, PA 16802-3106


814 865-1712


814 863-7002

Research Interests

My research focuses on elucidating the cognitive and neural mechanisms that support learning and memory in young and older adults. I employ both behavioral and neuroimaging methods, including diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) and functional MRI (fMRI) to explore the interaction of cognitive and neural processes involved in episodic memory. While my primary research investigates the neural correlates of item memory during both encoding and retrieval, my research also examines the neural processes associated with relational memory and false memory. With respect to cognitive aging, my research concentrates on the examination of age-related neural markers of cognitive decline, as well as mechanisms for neural compensation. Other lines of research include both implicit learning and genetic neuroimaging.

Representative Publications

Rizio, A.A., Dennis, N.A. (in press). The neural correlates of cognitive control: Successful remembering and intentional forgetting. Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience.

Dennis, N.A. & Peterson, K.M. (in press). Neural correlates mediating age differences in episodic memories: evidence from BOLD contrasts and connectivity analyses. Psychologia.

Dennis, N.A., Bowman, C.R., & Vandekar, S.N. (2012). True and phantom recollection: And fMRI investigation of similar and distinct neural correlates and connectivity. NeuroImage, 59: 2982-2993.

Dennis, N.A., Browndyke, J.N., Stokes, J., Need, A., Burke, J.R., Welsh-Bohmer, K., & Cabeza, R. (2010). Temporal lobe functional activity and connectivity in young adulst APOE e4 carriers.
Alzheimer's & Dementia, 303-311.

Dennis, N. A., Hayes, S. M., Prince, S. E., Madden, D. J., Huettel, S. A., & Cabeza, R. (2008). Effects of aging on the neural correlates of successful item and source memory encoding. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning Memory & Cognition, 34(4), 791-808.

Dennis, N.A., Kim, H., & Cabeza, R. (2008). Age-related differences in brain activity during true and false memory retrieval. Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, 20(8), 1390-1402.              

Dennis, N.A., Kim, H., & Cabeza, R. (2007). Effects of aging on true and false memory formation: an fMRI study. Neuropsychologia, 45(14), 3157-3166.

Davis, S.W., Dennis, N.A., Daselaar, S.M., Fleck, M.S., & Cabeza, R. (2008). Que PASA? The posterior-anterior shift in aging. Cerebral Cortex, 18(5), 1201-1209.
Dennis, N.A., Daselaar, S., & Cabeza, R. (2007). Effects of aging on transient and sustained successful memory encoding activity. Neurobiology of Aging, 28(11), 1749-1758.

Dennis, N.A., Howard, J.H., Jr., & Howard, D.V. (2006). Implicit sequence learning without motor sequencing in young and old adults. Experimental Brain Research, 175(1), 153-164.