Lee Ryan, Ph.D.


Dr. Lee Ryan completed her undergraduate work at University of Toronto, received a Ph.D. in Cognitive and Clinical Psychology at the University of British Columbia in 1992, and completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of California at San Diego. Currently she is the Director of the Cognition and Neuroimaging Laboratory at the University of Arizona.


Her research focuses on the neural basis of memory, age-related changes in memory, and how these changes relate to brain functioning. Her research is currently funded by the National Institute on Neurologic Disorders and Stroke, the Arizona Disease Control Research Commission, and the Arizona Alzheimer's Disease Research Center. She has a special interest in memory disorders such as Alzheimer's Disease, AIDS-related dementia, and diseases of white matter including multiple sclerosis.


As a professor in the Cognition and Neural Systems program and the Clinical Neuropsychology program in the University of Arizona's Department of Psychology, Dr. Ryan teaches undergraduate classes in human memory and graduate level courses such as Human Brain Behavior Relationships, Cognitive Neuroscience, and Principles of Neuroanatomy. As a clinical psychologist, Dr. Ryan works with individuals and families who are coping with chronic and progressive diseases that effect cognitive functioning, including multiple sclerosis, Parkinson's disease, and Alzheimer's disease. Dr. Ryan is also the Head of the Psychology department and the Associate Director of the Evelyn F. McKnight Brain Institute.

Selected Publications:

Marquine, M.J., Grilli, M.D., Rapcsak, S.Z., Kaszniak, A.W., Ryan, L., Walther, K., & Glisky, E.L. (2016). Impaired personal trait knowledge, but spared other-person trait knowledge, in an individual with bilateral damage to the medial prefrontal cortex. Neuropsychologia, 89, 245-253.

Lane, R.D., Ryan, L., Nadel, L., & Greenberg, L. (2015). Memory Reconsolidation, Emotional Arousal and the Process of Change in Psychotherapy: New Insights from Brain Science. Behavioral Brain Science, 38:e1.

Ryan, L., & Walther, K. (2014). White matter integrity in older females is altered by increased body fat. Obesity, 22(9), 2039-46.

Chan, S.H., Ryan, L., Bever, T.G. (2013). Role of the striatum in language: Syntactic and conceptual sequencing. Brain and Language, 125(3):283-94. PDF


Nadel, L., Hoscheidt, S., Ryan, L. (2013). Spatial cognition and the hippocampus: the anterior-posterior axis. Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, 25(1), 22-8. PDF


Forbes, C.E., Cox, C.L., Schmader, T., Ryan, L. (2012). Negative stereotype activation alters interaction between neural correlates of arousal, inhibition and cognitive control. Soc Cogn Affect Neurosci, 7(7), 771-81. PDF


Ryan, L., Cardoza, J.A., Barense, M.D., Kawa, K.H., Wallentin-Flores, J., Arnold, W.T., and Alexander, G.E. (2012). Age-related impairment in a complex object discrimination task that engages perirhinal cortex. Hippocampus, 22(10), 1978-89. PDF


Roberson, E.D., Defazio, R.A., Barnes, C.A., Alexander, G.E., Bizon, J.L., Bowers, D., Foster, T.C., Glisky, E.L., Levin, B.E., Ryan, L., Wright, C.B., and Geldmacher, D.S. (2012) Challenges and opportunities for characterizing  cognitive aging across species. Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience, 4:6. PDF


Burke, S.N., Ryan, L., and Barnes, C.A. (2012).  Characterizing cognitive aging of recognition memory and related processes in animal models and in humans.  Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience, 4:15. PDF


Alexander, G.E., Ryan, L., Bowers, D., Foster, T.C., Bizon, J.L., Geldmacher, D.S., and Glisky, E.L. (2012).  Characterizing Cognitive Aging in Humans with Links to Animal Models. Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience, 4:21. PDF


Walther, K., Bendlin, B.B., Glisky, E.L., Trouard, T.P., Lisse, J.R., Posever, J.O., & Ryan, L. (2011). Anti-inflammatory drugs reduce age-related decreases in brain volume in cognitively normal older adults.  Neurobiology of Aging, 32(3), 497-505.


Ryan, L., Walther, K., Bendlin, B.B., Lue L-F., Walker, D.G., & Glisky, E.L. (2011).  Age-related differences in white matter integrity measured by diffusion tensor imaging and cognitive function are related to APOE status.  NeuroImage, 54(2), 1565-77. PDF

Campbell, J., Nadel, L., Duke, D., & Ryan, L. (2011). Remembering all that and then some: recollection of 
autobiographical memories after a 1-year delay. Memory. 19(4), 406-15. 


Walther, K., Birdsill, A.C., Glisky, E.L., & Ryan, L. (2010). Structural brain differences and cognitive functioning related to body mass index in older females. Human Brain Mapping, 31(7), 1052-64. PDF


Hoscheidt, S.M., Nadel, L., Payne, J., Ryan, L. (2010). Hippocampal activation during retrieval of spatial context from episodic and semantic memory. Behavioral Brain Research, 212(2), 121-32. PDF


Walther, K., Bendlin, B.B., Glisky, E.L., Trouard, T.P., Lisse, J.R., Posever, J.O., & Ryan, L. (2009). Anti-inflammatory drugs reduce age-related decreases in brain volume in cognitively normal older adults. Neurobiology of Aging. doi:10.1016/j.neurobiolaging.2009.03.006. Epub ahead of print. PDF


Ryan, L., Lin, C.Y., Ketcham, K., & Nadel, L. (2010). The role of medial temporal lobe in retrieving spatial and nonspatial relations from episodic and semantic memory. Hippocampus, 20(1),11-8.


Greenberg, D.L., Keane, M.M., Ryan, L., & Verfaillie, M. (2009) Impaired Category Fluency in Medial Temporal Lobe Amnesia: The Role of Episodic Memory. Journal of Neuroscience, 29(35), 10900-10908. PMCID: PMC2761020.


Ryan, L., Hoscheidt, S., & Nadel, L. (2008). Time, space, and episodic memory. In E. Dere, A. Easton, J. Huston, and L. Nadel (Eds.). Handbook of Episodic Memory Research.


Ryan, L., Cox, C., Hayes, S., & Nadel, L. (2008). Hippocampal Activation during Episodic and Semantic Memory Retrieval: Category Production and Category Cued Recall. Neuropsychologia, 46, 2109-2121. PMCID: PMC2482601.


Ryan, L., & Alexander, G. (2007). Neuroimaging methods and applications to health psychology. In L. Luecken and L. Gallo, Eds., Handbook of Physiological Research Methods in Health Psychology. Elsevier.


Nadel, L., Campbell, J., & Ryan, L. (2007). Autobiographical Memory Retrieval and Hippocampal Activation as a Function of Repetition and the Passage of Time. Neural Plasticity, Vol 2007, Article 90472. PMCID: PMC2233815.


Lin, C.Y., & Ryan, L. (2007). Repetition priming with and without identification of the primes: An event-related fMRI study. NeuroImage, 38, 589-603.


Payne, JD, Jackson, E.D., Hoscheidt, S., Ryan, L., Jacobs, W.J., & Nadel, L. (2007). Stress administered prior to learning enhances neutral but impairs emotional long term episodic memories. Learning and Memory, 14: 861-868. PMCID: PMC2151024.


Hayes, S.M., Nadel, L., & Ryan, L. (2007). The effect of scene context on episodic object recognition: parahippocampal cortex mediates memory encoding and retrieval success. Hippocampus, 17, 873-89.


Nadel, L., Winocur, G., Ryan, L, & Moscovitch, M. (2007). Systems Consolidation and Hippocampus: Two Views. Debates in Neuroscience. Online.


Bendlin, B., Trouard, T., & Ryan, L. (2007). Caffeine attenuates practice effects in word stem completion as measured by fMRI BOLD signal. Human Brain Mapping, 28, 654-662.


Ryan, L., & Schnyer, D. (2007). Regional specificity of format-specific priming effects in mirror word reading using functional magnetic resonance imaging. Cerebral Cortex, 17, 982-92.