Faculty profile

Timothy T. Rogers

Timothy T. Rogers

Dept. of Psychology
524 Brogden Hall
(608) 262-0808


Research Keywords

cognitive neuroscience, computer modeling, semantic memory, object recognition, dementia, connectionist models, language


  • Department of Psychology, Assistant Professor

Current Projects

  • Lab director, Knowledge and Concepts Laboratory

Research Collaborators

  • Charles Kalish, Educational Psychology
  • Xiaojin Zhu, Computer Sciences
  • Mark Seidenberg, Psychology
  • Jeff Binder, Medical College of Wisconsin
  • Brian Bell, Neurology

Representative Classes

  • Psych 733: Issues and Methods in Experimental Neuropsychology
  • Psych 711: Introduction to neural network modeling
  • Psych 414: Cognitive Psychology
  • Psych 411: Conceptual knowledge

Research Statement

I am interested in understanding human semantic memory; that is, our knowledge about the meanings of words, objects, and events. Specifically, I would like to understand how semantic knowledge is stored and represented in the mind and brain, how it is acquired throughout development, how semantic tasks are performed by healthy adults and experts, and how semantic knowledge degrades in dementia.

I address these questions using computer models and empirical investigation with healthy and brain-damaged populations. In work with Jay McClelland I have used a simple feed-forward connectionist model to illustrate how the principles of parallel distributed processing (PDP) can make sense of a range of empirical phenomena from the domains of conceptual development, normal and disturbed adult semantic cognition, expertise, and "theory-theory." This work has recently been published in a book from MIT Press. With Karalyn Patterson and John Hodges at the Cognition and Brain Sciences Unit in Cambridge, UK, and Matthew Lambon Ralph at the University of Manchester, I have conducted empirical work investigating the breakdown of semantic memory in different neuropsychological disorders. With Cathy Price at the Functional Imaging Lab in London, UK, I have done some functional imaging work to determine how patterns of brain activation seen in the temporal lobes during semantic tasks might reflect the similarity structure of visual and semantic representations.

Selected Publications

  • Rogers, T. T., and J. L. McClelland (2004). Semantic Cognition: A Parallel Distributed Processing Approach. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.
  • Rogers, T. T. , Hocking, J., Mechelli, A., Patterson, K. and Price, C. (2005). Fusiform activation to animals is driven by the process, not the stimulus. Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, 17(3), 434-445.
  • Rogers , T. T. , Lambon Ralph, M. A, Garrard, P., Bozeat, S., McClelland, J. L., Hodges, J. R., and Patterson, K. (2004). The structure and deterioration of semantic memory: A neuropsychological and computational investigation. Psychological Review, 111(1), 205-235.
  • Rogers, T. T. , Lambon Ralph, M. A., Hodges, J. R., and Patterson, K. (2004). Natural selection: The impact of semantic impairment on lexical and object decision. Cognitive Neuropsychology, 21(2/3/4), 331-352.
  • McClelland, J. L., and Rogers, T. T. (2003). The Parallel Distributed Processing approach to semantic cognition. Nature Reviews Neuroscience, 4 (4), 310-322.