Zhong Xu Liu, Ph.D. (MA, BSc, BEng)

Associate Professor of Psychology
Zhong Xu Liu
College of Arts, Sciences, and Letters
Behavioral Sciences
On Zoom Tues / Wed 2-3pm or by appointment

Teaching Areas:

Master of Science in Psychology, Psychology

Research Areas:


Biography and Education

My main research focus is on the neural mechanisms of visual memory processing. My goal is to understand, at both the behavioral and neural level, how visuoperceptual information processed in the posterior part of the brain becomes long-lasting memory representations supported by the medial temporal lobe structures.


My second research focus is on training-related behavioral/neural plasticity. The ultimate goal of this research program is to find out what kind of cognitive training can elicit transferable neural plasticity and produce meaningful improvement in cognitive functions such as cognitive control and memory.


I use neuroimaging (fMRI and EEG), eye-tracking, and behavioral psychophysics experiments to investigate these question.


My first career was in engineering. My job was to design structures and foundations for residential and industrial buildings. Although I love being a structural engineer, I am also fascinated by brain science and human psychology. After I moved to Canada in 2003, I decided to study psychology and cognitive neuroscience. I obtained my BSc in Psychology from Concordia University in Montreal. Then I obtained my M.A. with Dr. Marc Lewis  and Ph.D. with Dr. Morris Moscovitch from the University of Toronto, focusing on human cognitive neuroscience (of memory). Before I came to UM-Dearborn in September 2018, I completed 3 years of postdoctoral training with Dr. Jennifer Ryan at the Rotman Research Institute and Dr. Shayna Rosenbaum at York University in Toronto.

Selected Publications

 Liu, Z.-X., Shen, K., Olsen, R. K., & Ryan, J. D. (2018). Age-related changes in the relationship between visual exploration and hippocampal activity. Neuropsychologia119, 81–91. doi:10.1016/j.neuropsychologia.2018.07.032


Liu, Z.-X., Shen, K., Olsen, R. K., & Ryan, J. D. (2017). Visual sampling predicts hippocampal activity. Journal of Neuroscience37(3), 599–609. doi:10.1523/JNEUROSCI.2610-16.2017


Liu, Z.-X., Grady, C., & Moscovitch, M. (2018). The effect of prior knowledge on post-encoding brain connectivity and its relation to subsequent memory. NeuroImage167, 211–223. doi:10.1016/j.neuroimage.2017.11.032


Liu, Z.-X., Grady, C., & Moscovitch, M. (2017). Effects of prior-knowledge on brain activation and connectivity during associative memory encoding. Cerebral Cortex27(3), 1991–2009. doi:10.1093/cercor/bhw047


Liu, Z.-X., Lishak, V., Tannock, R., & Woltering, S. (2017). Effects of working memory training on neural correlates of Go/Nogo response control in adults with ADHD: A randomized controlled trial. Neuropsychologia95, 54–72. doi:10.1016/j.neuropsychologia.2016.11.023