Department of Psychology

Dominic Cheng

Dominic Cheng

Dominic Cheng


  • 2010, Postdoctoral Fellowship, Neurology, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine
  • 2005, Ph.D., Experimental Psychology, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
  • 2002, M.S., Experimental Psychology, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
  • 1994, B.S., Psychology, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

About Dominic Cheng
Assistant Professor

Human memory and related disorders may be better understood by investigating the neural circuitry underlying basic forms of learning.  Classical conditioning is one fundamental form of learning that may represent a foundation on which higher-level cognition is built.  Dr. Cheng uses functional MRI and transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) techniques to examine the neural circuitry underlying human fear and eyeblink conditioning.  Research in his laboratory focuses on 1) understanding basic neural mechanisms important for human classical conditioning, 2) characterizing the neural circuitry underlying developmental and aging effects on this form of learning, and 3) investigating the neural bases of learning deficits in clinical populations (e.g. alcoholism).

Dr. Cheng is currently accepting new graduate students.

Representative Publications

  • Cheng, D. T., Jacobson, S. W., Jacobson, J. L., Molteno, C. D., Stanton, M. E., & Desmond, J. E. (in press).  Eyeblink classical conditioning in alcoholism and fetal alcohol spectrum disorders.  Frontiers in Psychiatry.
  • Cheng, D. T., Meintjes, E. M., Stanton, M. E., Desmond, J. E., Pienaar, M., Dodge, N. C., Power, J. M., Molteno, C. D., Disterhoft, J. F., Jacobson, J. L., & Jacobson, S. W. (2014). Functional MRI of cerebellar activity during eyeblink classical conditioning in children and adults.  Human Brain Mapping, 35 (4), 1390-1403.
  • Cheng, D. T., Faulkner, M. L., Disterhoft, J. F., & Desmond, J. E. (2010). The effects of aging in delay and trace human eyeblink conditioning.  Psychology and Aging, 25(3), 684-690.
  • Cheng, D. T., Disterhoft, J. F., Power, J. M., Ellis, D. A., & Desmond, J. E. (2008). Neural substrates underlying human delay and trace eyeblink conditioning. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA, 105(23), 8108-8113.
  • Cheng, D. T., Richards, J. A., & Helmstetter, F. J. (2007). Activity in the human amygdala corresponds to early, rather than late period autonomic responses to a signal for shock. Learning and Memory, 14(7), 485-490.
  • Cheng, D. T., Knight, D. C., Smith, C. N., & Helmstetter, F. J. (2006). Human amygdala activity during the expression of fear responses. Behavioral Neuroscience, 120(6), 1187-1195.

Last Updated: December 30, 2018