Jessica Payne

Jessica Payne

Associate Professor

Ph.D., University of Arizona

  • Clinical
  • Cognition, Brain, and Behavior

(574) 631-1636

Corbett Family Hall

Notre Dame, IN 46556

ND Sleep, Stress and Memory Lab

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How sleep and stress influence human memory and psychological function.


Dr. Payne’s research focuses on how sleep and stress influence human memory and psychological function.

After new information is encoded into memory, it continues to be processed and transformed by a process known as consolidation. This process solidifies memories, making them resistant to interference and decay, but emerging evidence suggests that it can also change memories in ways that make them more useful and adaptive. The questions driving this line of research are, “What happens to memories over time?” and “What are the mechanisms underlying memory solidification and memory change?” Dr. Payne uses two powerful tools to probe memory - sleep and stress. Both provide important mediums for targeting the consolidation process in humans. Dr. Payne combines behavioral, pharmacological and cognitive neuroscientific (EEG, fMRI) approaches to investigate these questions.

Another line of research examines important clinical questions, including how disturbances in sleep and stress influence memory consolidation in individuals with major depressive disorder and anxiety disorders such as PTSD, and how this, in turn, influences psychological functioning.

Recent Publications

* Author is a current graduate student.
o Author is a current or prior Notre Dame student.
** Author is a current co-mentored graduate student.
# Author is a prior student who I mentored as a postdoc at Harvard or as a graduate student at the University of Arizona.

*Chambers, A., and Payne, J.D., Laugh Yourself to Sleep: Memory Consolidation for Humorous Information. In Press, Experimental Brain Research. (first published online December 12, 2013), DOI 10.1007/s00221-013-3779-7. Impact Factor: 2.2. 

**Bennion, K.A., Mickley Steinmetz, K.R., & Kensinger, E.A. & Payne, J.D., Eye-tracking, cortisol analysis, and behavioral testing across sleep and wake delays: Combining methods to uncover an interactive effect of sleep and cortisol on consolidation. (2014) Journal of Visualized Experiments (JOVE). (88), e51500-e51500.

**Bennion, K.A., Mickley Steinmetz, K.R., & Kensinger, E.A. & Payne, J.D., (2014) Sleep and cortisol interact to support memory consolidation. Cerebral Cortex, (first published online September 26, 2013) doi:10.1093/cercor/bht255. Impact Factor: 6.8. 

Payne, J.D., *Chambers, A., & Kensinger, E.A. Sleep Promotes Lasting Changes in Selective Memory for Emotional Scenes. Frontiers in Integrative Neuroscience, 6(108). doi: 10.3389/fnint.2012.00108. 

Payne, J.D., Tucker, M.A., Ellenbogen, J.M., Walker, M.P., Schacter, D.L. & Stickgold, R. (2012). Memory for Semantically Related and Unrelated Declarative Information: The Benefit of Sleep, the Cost of Wake. PLoS ONE, 7(3), e33079. Impact Factor: 4.1. 

Payne, J.D., (2011). Sleep on it: Stabilizing and transforming memories during sleep. Nature Neuroscience, 14(3), 272-274. Impact Factor: 15.2. 

Payne, J.D., & Kensinger, E.A (2011). Sleep leads to qualitative changes in the emotional memory trace: Evidence from fMRI. Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, 23(6), 1285-1297 Impact Factor:4.5. 

Steinberger, A., Payne, J.D., & Kensinger, E.A. (2011). The effect of cognitive reappraisal on the emotional memory trade-off. Cognition and Emotion, 25(7), 1237-1245. Impact Factor: 2.8. 

#Hoscheidt, S.M, Nadel, L., Payne, J.D., & Ryan, L (2011). Hippocampal Activation during Retrieval of Spatial Context from Episodic and Semantic Memory. Behavioural Brain Research, 212, 121-132. Impact Factor: 3.3. 

Payne, J.D., (2011). Learning, memory and sleep in humans. Sleep Medicine Clinics, 6(1), 15-30.