Timothy T. Rogers

Timothy T. Rogers
Professor, Department of Psychology
(608) 262-0808


Ph.D. Carnegie Mellon University

Lab Website:


Research Focus:

Human conceptual knowledge; neural network models; learning and memory; neuropsychology of language and memory; brain imaging

Research Strengths:

Behavior, cognition and emotion; perception and movement

Research Description:

My research focuses on understanding the neural mechanisms that underlie human semantic memory—that is, our memory for/knowledge about the meanings of words, objects and events. Toward this goal I leverage several different methodologies, including (a) behavioral studies of healthy adults, children, and neuropsychological populations, (b) functional and structural brain imaging and (c) simulations with artificial neural network models of cognitive functioning. One important focus of my research has been to develop neural network models that helped to explain developing semantic abilities over infancy and childhood as well as acquired semantic disorders following brain injury. This work led to the well-known anterior-temporal “hub” theory of semantic representation, now standard reading in several textbooks and handbooks. Most recently research in my lab has focused on drawing tighter connections between systems-level neuroscience, brain imaging, and computational modeling, under three different approaches. First, we are seeking to develop neural network models whose architecture is constrained by what is known about connectivity in human brains as assessed by diffusion imaging and functional connectivity. We then use simulations with these models to better understand the functional consequences of the known anatomy for healthy and disordered information processing, and in generating patterns of functional activation in brain imaging studies. Second, we are working with colleagues in the ECE Department to develop new multivariate statistical methods for analyzing functional brain imaging data, that are more in keeping with the assumptions about neural representations that are embodied in connectionist models. Third, we are continuing work to develop neural network models and empirical studies to better understand patterns of impaired semantic abilities in different patient groups, with a special focus on semantic impairments arising from (a) fronto-temporal dementia, (b) stroke aphasia and (c) temporal-lobe epilepsy.


Rogers, T. T. , Patterson, K., Jefferies, E. & Lambon Ralph, M. A. (in press). Disorders of representation and control in semantic cognition: Effects of familiarity, typicality, and specificity, Neuropsychologia.

Chen, L. & Rogers, T. T. (in press). A model of emergent category-specific activation in the posterior fusiform gyrus of sighted and congenitally blind populations. Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience.

Rogers, T. T., Graham, K., & Patterson, K. (in press). Impairments to semantic memory degrade memory, perception, and naming of secondary but not primary colours. Neuropsychologia.

Cox, C., Seidenberg, M. S. and Rogers, T. T. (2015). Connecting functional brain imaging and Parallel Distributed Processing. Language, Cognition and Neuroscience, 30(4), 380-394.

Chen, L. and Rogers, T. T. (2014). Revisiting domain-general accounts of category-specificity in mind and brain. Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews: Cognitive Science, 5(3), 327-344.

Rogers, T. T. and McClelland, J. L. (2014). PDP at 25: Further explorations in the microstructure of cognition. Cognitive Science, 38, 1024-1077.

Schapiro, A., Rogers, T. T., Cordova, N. I., Turk-Browne, N. B. and Botvinick, M. M. (2013). Neural representations of events arise from temporal community structure. Nature Neuroscience.

Lambon Ralph, M. A., Ehsan, S., Baker, G. and Rogers, T. T. (2012). Semantic memory is impaired in patients with unilateral temporal lobe resection for temporal lobe epilepsy. Brain, 135, 242-258.

Ueno, T., Saito, S., Rogers, T. T. and Lambon Ralph, M. A. (2011). Lichtheim 2: Synthesizing aphasia and the neural basis of language in a neurocomputational model of the dual dorsal-ventral language pathways. Neuron, 72, 385-396.

Stilp, C. E., Rogers, T. T., & Kluender, K. (2010). Rapid efficient encoding of correlated complex acoustic properties.  Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 107(50), 21914-21919.

Barense, M. D., Rogers, T. T., Bussey, T. J., Saksida, L. & Graham, K. S. (2010) Influence of conceptual knowledge on visual object discrimination: Insights from semantic dementia and MTL amnesia. Cerebral Cortex, 20(11), 2568-2582.

Rogers, T. T., & McClelland, J. L. (2008). A précis of Semantic Cognition: A Parallel Distributed Processing Approach. Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 31, 689-714.

Patterson, K., Nestor, P., & Rogers, T. T. (2007). Where do you know what you know? The representation of semantic knowledge in the human brain. Nature Reviews Neuroscience, 8, 976-987.

Rogers, T. T., Graham, K., & Patterson, K. (2007). Colour knowledge in semantic dementia: It’s not all black and white. Neuropsychologia, 45, 3285-3298.

Rogers, T. T., & Patterson, K. (2007) Object categorization: Reversals and explanations of the basic-level advantage. Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, 136, 451-469.

Lambon Ralph, M. A., Lowe, C., & Rogers, T. T. (2007). The neural basis of category-specific semantic deficits for living things: Evidence from semantic dementia, HSVE and a neural network model. Brain, 130, 1127-1137.

Rogers, T. T., Hocking, J., Noppeney, U., Mechelli, A., Gorno-Tempini, M., Patterson, K., & Price, C. (2006). The anterior temporal cortex and semantic memory: Reconciling findings from neuropsychology and functional imaging. Cognitive, Affective and Behavioral Neuroscience, 6, 201-213.

Rogers, T. T., Ivanoiu, A. , Patterson, K., &  Hodges, J. R., (2006).  Semantic memory in Alzheimer’s disease and the fronto-temporal dementias: A longitudinal study of 236 patients. Neuropsychology, 20, 319-335.

Rogers, T. T., Lambon Ralph, M. A, Garrard, P., Bozeat, S., McClelland, J. L., Hodges, J. R., & Patterson, K. (2004). The  structure and deterioration of semantic memory: A neuropsychological and computational investigation. Psychological Review, 111, 205-235.

McClelland, J. L., & Rogers, T. T. (2003). The Parallel Distributed Processing approach to semantic cognition.  Nature Reviews Neuroscience, 4, 310-322.