Jessica Payne


E466 Corbett Family Hall
Notre Dame, IN 46556

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Sleep, Stress, and Memory (SAM) Lab

Primary Area: Cognition, Brain, and Behavior

Additional Areas: Clinical

Research and teaching interests

human memory, consolidation, sleep, stress, emotion, cognitive neuroscience


Dr. Jessica Payne is Professor of Psychology at the University of Notre Dame, where she directs the Sleep, Stress, and Memory (SAM) Lab. Dr. Payne’s research focuses on how sleep and stress independently and interactively influence learning, memory, emotion, and creativity. She teaches various courses in Psychology and Neuroscience, including a popular course entitled “The Sleeping Brain” for which she won Harvard University’s Bok Center Award for teaching excellence and Notre Dame’s Frank O’Malley award for undergraduate teaching and service and Rev. Edmund P. Joyce Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching. She also won the Laird Cermak Award for her contribution to memory research, the Early Career Award from the Psychonomic Society, which is “the home for scientists who study how the mind works”, and was elected a Kavil Fellow with the National Academy of Sciences. Kavli fellows are young researchers who have already made recognized contributions to science, and 150 Kavli fellows have been elected into the National Academy of Sciences and 10 have been awarded Nobel Prizes. She was recently selected as the National Academy of Sciences 2021 Seymour Benzer/Sydney Brenner Lecturer. Her postdoctoral fellowship was split between Harvard University’s Psychology Department and Harvard Medical School’s Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. She holds a Ph.D. in Psychology/Cognitive Neuroscience from the University of Arizona


2006-2009 Harvard University Postdoctoral Fellow, Psychology/Cognitive Neuroscience Advisors: Daniel Schacter and Robert Stickgold

2005-2006 Harvard Medical School, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center Postdoctoral Fellow, Cognitive Neuroscience Advisor: Robert Stickgold

1999-2005 University of Arizona, Ph.D., Psychology/Cognitive Neuroscience Advisor: Lynn Nadel 1997-1999 Mount Holyoke College, M.A., Experimental Psychology

1991-1995 University of San Diego, B.A., Psychology, magna cum laude

Representative Publications

Denis, D., Sanders, K.E.G., Kensinger, E.A., & Payne, J.D. (2022). "Sleep preferentially consolidates negative aspects of human memory: Well-powered evidence from two large online experiments." Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 119 (44),

Denis, D., Mylonas, D., Poskanzer, C., Bursal, V., & Payne, J.D. (2021). "Sleep spindles facilitate selective memory consolidation." Journal of Neuroscience 5 May 2021, 41 (18) 4088-4099; DOI:

Cunningham, T.J., *Mattingly, S., Wirth, M.M., +Alger, S.E., & Payne, J.D. (2021). "Higher post-encoding cortisol benefits the selective consolidation of emotional aspects of memory." Neurobiology of Learning and Memory,

Kim, S.Y., & Payne, J.D. (2020). "Neural correlates of sleep, stress, and selective memory consolidation." Current Opinion in Behavioral Sciences. 33, 57-64. 

Cunningham, T.J., Leal, S.L., Yassa, M.A., & Payne, J.D. (2018). "Post-encoding stress enhances mnemonic discrimination of negative stimuli." Learning & Memory, 25(12), 611-619. DOI: