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Johns Hopkins Department of Neurology

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Dominic T. Cheng, Ph.D.

Research Associate

Department of Neurology

Johns Hopkins University


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Phone: (410) 502-4665



Ph.D., Psychology
University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee


M.S., Psychology
University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee


B.S., Psychology
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Research Interests

My research focuses on the neurobiological basis of human learning and memory. My previous work used fMRI and Pavlovian fear conditioning to investigate brain regions important for the processing of fearful stimuli versus regions important for fear expression. This work has led me to my current position, in which I use fMRI, TMS, tDCS and classical eyeblink conditioning as a model system to investigate the neural bases of human associative learning.

Current Projects

I am currently studying cerebellar functioning as it relates to delay and trace eyeblink conditioning using TMS, tDCS, and fMRI in human participants.

Representative Publications

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 U S A, 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.


Knight, D. C., Smith, C. N., Cheng, D. T., Stein, E. A., & Helmstetter, F. J. (2004). Human amygdala and hippocampal activity during acquisition and extinction of fear conditioning. Cognitive, Affective, and Behavioral Neuroscience, 4(3), 317-325.


Knight, D. C., Cheng, D. T., Smith, C. N., Stein, E. A., & Helmstetter, F. J. (2004). Neural substrates mediating human delay and trace fear conditioning. Journal of Neuroscience, 24(1), 218-228.

Cheng, D. T., Knight, D. C., Smith, C. N., Stein, E. A., & Helmstetter, F. J. (2003). Functional MRI of human amygdala activity during Pavlovian fear conditioning: Stimulus processing versus response expression. Behavioral Neuroscience, 117(1), 3-10.