Roberto Cabeza

Professor of Psychology and Neuroscience

Education & Training

  • Ph.D., University of Tsukuba (Japan) 1994


My laboratory investigates the neural correlates of memory and cognition in young and older adults using fMRI. We have three main lines of research: First, we distinguish the neural correlates of various episodic memory processes. For example, we have compared encoding vs. retrieval, item vs. source memory, recall vs. recognition, true vs. false memory, and emotional vs. nonemotional memory. We are particularly interested in the contribution of prefrontal cortex (PFC) and medial temporal lobe (MTL) subregions and their interactions.Second, we investigate similarities and differences between the neural correlates of episodic memory and other memory and cognitive functions (working, semantic, implicit, and procedural memory; attention; perception, etc.). The main goal of this cross-functional approach is to understand the contributions of brain regions shared by different cognitive functions. Finally, in both episodic memory and cross-function studies, we also examine the effects of healthy and pathological aging. Regarding episodic memory, we have linked processes differentially affected by aging (e.g., item vs. source memory, recall vs. recognition) to the effects of aging on specific PFC and MTL subregions. Regarding cross-function comparisons, we identify age-related changes in activity that are common to various functions. For example, we have found an age-related increase in bilaterality that occurs for many functions (memory, attention, language, perception, and motor) and is associated with functional compensation.


Episodic memory, semantic memory, visual memory, attention effects on memory, healthy aging, Alzheimer's Disease, fMRI, TMS, cognitive neuroscience

Geib, BR, Stanley, ML, Dennis, NA, Woldorff, MG, and Cabeza, R. "From hippocampus to whole-brain: The role of integrative processing in episodic memory retrieval." Human brain mapping (January 23, 2017). Full Text

Davis, SW, Stanley, ML, Moscovitch, M, and Cabeza, R. "Resting-state networks do not determine cognitive function networks: a commentary on Campbell and Schacter (2016)." Language, Cognition and Neuroscience (November 6, 2016): 1-5. Full Text Open Access Copy

Wang, W-C, Brashier, NM, Wing, EA, Marsh, EJ, and Cabeza, R. "On Known Unknowns: Fluency and the Neural Mechanisms of Illusory Truth." Journal of cognitive neuroscience 28.5 (May 2016): 739-746. Full Text

Pais-Vieira, C, Wing, EA, and Cabeza, R. "The influence of self-awareness on emotional memory formation: an fMRI study." Social cognitive and affective neuroscience 11.4 (April 2016): 580-592. Full Text

Moscovitch, M, Cabeza, R, Winocur, G, and Nadel, L. "Episodic Memory and Beyond: The Hippocampus and Neocortex in Transformation." Annual review of psychology 67 (January 2016): 105-134. (Review) Full Text

Clifford, S, Iyengar, V, Cabeza, R, and Sinnott-Armstrong, W. "Moral foundations vignettes: a standardized stimulus database of scenarios based on moral foundations theory." Behavior research methods 47.4 (December 2015): 1178-1198. Full Text

Wang, WC, Dew, IT, and Cabeza, R. "Age-related differences in medial temporal lobe involvement during conceptual fluency." Brain research 1612 (July 2015): 48-58. (Review) Full Text

Davis, SW, and Cabeza, R. "Cross-hemispheric collaboration and segregation associated with task difficulty as revealed by structural and functional connectivity." The Journal of neuroscience : the official journal of the Society for Neuroscience 35.21 (May 2015): 8191-8200. Full Text Open Access Copy

Wing, EA, Ritchey, M, and Cabeza, R. "Reinstatement of individual past events revealed by the similarity of distributed activation patterns during encoding and retrieval." Journal of cognitive neuroscience 27.4 (April 2015): 679-691. Full Text

Daselaar, SM, Iyengar, V, Davis, SW, Eklund, K, Hayes, SM, and Cabeza, RE. "Less wiring, more firing: low-performing older adults compensate for impaired white matter with greater neural activity." Cerebral cortex (New York, N.Y. : 1991) 25.4 (April 2015): 983-990. Full Text Open Access Copy


Jacques, PL, and Cabeza, R. "Neural Basis of Autobiographical Memory." Origins and Development of Recollection: Perspectives from Psychology and Neuroscience. May 24, 2012. Full Text

Cabeza, R. "Prefrontal and medial temporal lobe contributions to relational memory in young and older adults." Handbook of Binding and Memory: Perspectives from Cognitive Neuroscience. March 22, 2012. Full Text

Daselaar, S, and Cabeza, R. "Age-related changes in hemispheric organization." Cognitive Neuroscience of Aging: Linking cognitive and cerebral aging. May 1, 2009. Full Text

Cabeza, R, Nyberg, L, and Park, DC. "Cognitive Neuroscience of Aging: Emergence of a New Discipline." Cognitive Neuroscience of Aging: Linking cognitive and cerebral aging. May 1, 2009. Full Text

Dolcos, F, LaBar, KS, and Cabeza, R. "The Memory Enhancing Effect of Emotion: Functional Neuroimaging Evidence." Memory and Emotion: Interdisciplinary Perspectives. January 11, 2008. 105-134. Full Text

Cabeza, R, Purves, D, Huettel, SA, LaBar, KS, Platt, ML, and Woldorff, MG. Principles of Cognitive Neuroscience. Sinauer Associates Incorporated, 2012.

Cabeza, R, and Kingstone, A. Handbook of Functional Neuroimaging of Congnition. 2006.

Behavioral and Physiology in Aging awarded by National Institutes of Health (Mentor). 2015 to 2020

Using fMRI-guided TMS to increase central executive function in older adults awarded by National Institutes of Health (Co-Principal Investigator). 2015 to 2020

Effects of Aging on Visual Memory: Neuroimaging Studies awarded by National Institutes of Health (Principal Investigator). 2001 to 2018

Aging Changes to Perceptual and Conceptual Encoding in Perirhinal Cortex awarded by National Institutes of Health (Principal Investigator). 2014 to 2017

Neuroimaging of Visual Attention in Aging awarded by National Institutes of Health (Co Investigator). 2011 to 2017

A Compute Cluster for Brain Imaging and Analysis awarded by National Institutes of Health (Major User). 2016 to 2017

Training in Fundamental &Translational Neuroscience awarded by National Institutes of Health (Training Faculty). 2005 to 2016

Social Threat and Aging: Neural Mechanisms of Emotion Regulation awarded by National Institutes of Health (Principal Investigator). 2009 to 2015

Behavior And Physiology In Aging awarded by National Institutes of Health (Mentor). 1999 to 2015

Effects of Aging on Recollection, Familiarity, and Conceptual Priming awarded by National Institutes of Health (Principal Investigator). 2010 to 2013