Location: Bowdoin / Erika Nyhus


Erika Nyhus

Assistant Professor of Neuroscience and Psychology
(on leave for fall 2017 semester)

Contact Information


Kanbar Hall - 220

Teaching this semester

NEUR 2060/PSYC 2060. Cognitive Neuroscience

An introduction to the neuroscientific study of cognition. Topics surveyed in the course include the neural bases of perception, attention, memory, language, executive function, and decision making. In covering these topics, the course will draw on evidence from brain imaging (fMRI, EEG, MEG), transcranial magnetic stimulation, electrophysiology, and neuropsychology. Also considers how knowledge about the brain constrains our understanding of the mind.

NEUR 3055/PSYC 3055. Cognitive Neuroscience of Memory

An advanced discussion of recent empirical and theoretical approaches to understanding the cognitive neuroscience of memory. Readings and discussions address empirical studies using neuroimaging methods. Topics include hippocampal and cortical contributions to memory encoding and retrieval and the effect of genetic variability, drugs, emotions, and sleep on memory.

Erika Nyhus


  • B.A. Psychology and Anthropology, University of California at Berkeley, 2003
  • M.A. Psychology, University of Colorado at Boulder, 2006
  • Ph.D. Cognitive Science, Neuroscience, and Psychology, University of Colorado at Boulder, 2010
  • Post-doctoral education, Cognitive, Linguistic, and Psychological Sciences, Brown University, 2010-2013

Research Interests

I study the neural processes involved in higher-level cognition, including executive functioning and episodic memory. Specifically, my research has examined (1) the neural processes supporting executive functions, (2) the neural processes supporting episodic retrieval, and (3) how neural processes interact for top-down control of episodic retrieval. My research has addressed these topics through behavioral and neuroimaging (electroencephalography (EEG), event-related potential (ERP), and functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI)) methods. This research has shown how multiple brain systems process information and interact to perform rich cognitive abilities.

Professor Nyhus' Lab Page »

Curriculum Vitae

Medrano, P., Nyhus, E., Smolen, A., Curran, T., Ross, R. (in press). Individual differences in EEG correlates of recognition memory due to DAT polymorphisms. Brain and Behavior.

Nyhus, E. (in press)Brain networks related to beta oscillatory activity during episodic memory retrieval. Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience.

Nyhus, E., Curtis, N. (2016). Incorporating an ERP project into undergraduate instruction. Journal of Undergraduate Neuroscience Education, 14(2), A91-A96.

Ross, R. , Medrano, P., Boyle, K., Smolen, A., Curran, T., Nyhus, E. (2015). Genetic variation in the serotonin transporter gene influences the ERP old/new effect during recognition memory. Neuropsychologia, 78, 95-107.

Nyhus, E. & Badre, D. (2015). Memory retrieval and the functional organization of frontal cortex. In D.R. Addis, M. Barense, A. Duarte (Eds.), The Wiley Handbook on the Cognitive Neuroscience of Memory (pp. 131-149). West Sussex, UK: John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Frank, M. J., Gagne, C., Nyhus, E., Masters, S., Wiecki, T.V., Cavanagh, J., & Badre, D. (2015). EEG and fMRI correlates of dynamic decision parameters during reinforcement learningJournal of Neuroscience, 35(2), 485-494.

Depue, B.E., Ketz, N., Mollison, M.V., Nyhus, E.,  Banich, M.T., & Curran, T. (2013). ERPs and neural oscillations during volitional suppression of memory retrievalJournal of Cognitive Neuroscience, 25, 1624-1633.

Nyhus, E. & Curran, T. (2012). Midazolam induced amnesia reduces memory for details and affects the ERP correlates of recollection and familiarity. Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, 24, 416-427.

Snyder, H. R., Hutchison, N., Nyhus, E., Curran, T., Banich, M. T., O’Reilly, R. C., & Munakata, Y. (2010). Neural inhibition enables selection during language processing. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 107, 16483–16488.

Nyhus, E. & Curran, T. (2010). Functional role of gamma and theta oscillations in episodic memory. Neuroscience and Biobehavioral Reviews, 34, 1023-1035.

Nyhus, E. & Curran, T. (2009). Semantic and perceptual effects on recognition memory: Evidence from ERP. Brain Research, 1283, 102-114.

Nyhus, E. & Barceló, F. (2009). The Wisconsin Card Sorting Test and the cognitive assessment of prefrontal function. Brain and Cognition, 71, 437-451.

Norman, K. A., Tepe, K., Nyhus, E., & Curran, T. (2008). Event-related potential correlates of interference effects on recognition memoryPsychonomic Bulletin and Review, 15(1), 36-43.

Barceló, F., Periañez, J., Nyhus, E. (2008). An information theoretical approach to task-switching: Evidence from cognitive brain potentials in humansFrontiers in Human Neuroscience, 1(1).