Skip to content

Brennan R. Payne, Ph.D.

Brennan Payne, PhD

Assistant Professor, Cognition and Neural Science | CNS

Curriculum Vitae
LaMA Lab

Contact Information

Office: 1034 BEHS
Phone: 801-581-5040

Research Interests

Research in my lab is centered on understanding the nature of language and memory systems across the adult lifespan, how these systems are modulated by attentional control, and the functional organization of these systems in the human brain. We take an interdisciplinary approach to this work, merging theoretical models from the cognitive and neural sciences, gerontology, linguistics, and quantitative and experimental psychology, as well as adopting a multi-method approach including the non-invasive measurement of brain activity (e.g., event-related brain potentials), human performance (e.g., eye-movement control), and physiology (e.g., pupillometry).

 Research topic interests in the lab range across a number of fields including: Cognitive and brain aging, sentence processing, semantic memory, working memory, cognitive electrophysiology, eye-movement control, intraindividual variability, cognitive interventions, prosodic segmentation, and advanced statistical modeling.

Opportunities For Students

Interested in joining the lab? Contact me for information about opportunities at the undergraduate, graduate, and postdoctoral level.

  1. Undergraduate: Research assistants, honors thesis students, and human factors certificate program.
  2. Graduate: I will be considering graduate applications for students in the CNS program in the Fall. Contact me to discuss potential opportunities. Students with backgrounds and interests in cognitive and developmental psychology, cognitive neuroscience, and psycholinguistics are encouraged to apply. Specific experience with cognitive electrophysiology, eye-tracking, MATLAB and R is a major plus.
  3. Postdoctoral: Please contact me to discuss potential for funding through ongoing grants, internal funding mechanisms at Utah, and external funding (e.g., NRSA).


PhD, University of Illinois, 2014

MS, University of Illinois, 2012

BA, SUNY Oswego, 2009

Selected Publications

Payne, B.R., Stites, M.C., & Federmeier, K.D. (2019). Event-related brain potentials reveal how multiple aspects of semantic processing unfold across parafoveal and foveal vision during sentence reading. Psychophysiology, 56, 1-15.

Payne, B.R. & Silcox, J. (2019). Aging, context processing, and comprehension. Psychology of Learning and Motivation, 71, 215- 264.

Payne, B.R. & Federmeier, K.D. (2018). Contextual constraints on lexico-semantic processing in aging: Evidence from single-word event-related brain potentials. Brain Research, 1687, 117-128.

Payne, B.R. & Federmeier, K.D. (2017). Pace yourself: Intraindividual variability in context use during reading revealed by self-paced event-related brain potentials. Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, 29, 837-854.

Payne, B.R., Stites, M.C., & Federmeier, K.D. (2016). Out of the corner of my eye: Foveal semantic load modulates parafoveal processing in reading. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance, 26, 1839-1857.
* Early Career Award Paper: Society for Experimental Psychology and Cognitive Science

Payne, B.R. & Stine-Morrow, E.A.L. (2016). Risk for mild cognitive impairment is associated with semantic integration deficits in sentence processing and memory. The Journal of Gerontology: Psychological Sciences, 71, 243-253.

Last Updated: 6/4/21