Professor Jon Simons

Jon Simons

University position

Professor of Cognitive Neuroscience

Professor Jon Simons is pleased to consider applications from prospective PhD students.


Department of Psychology


Behavioural and Clinical Neuroscience Institute

Home page

Research Theme

Cognitive and Behavioural Neuroscience


Our research investigates the cognitive and brain mechanisms responsible for the subjective experience of remembering, and how we use mental experiences to make sense of the world, helping us to keep a grip on reality.

This work involves inter-relating cognitive hypotheses with evidence from functional neuroimaging of healthy volunteers and from examining the effects of neurological and psychiatric disorders, and normal aging, on memory abilities. Research in the laboratory uses a number of methods, including behavioural measures, computational modelling, functional and structural neuroimaging (fMRI/sMRI), electrophysiology (EEG/MEG), and brain stimulation (TMS/tDCS).

Our research has been funded by support from UKRI (BBSRC, ESRC, and MRC) and from a number of charitable organisations (Isaac Newton Trust, James S. McDonnell Foundation, Leverhulme Trust, Mental Health Research UK, Rosetrees Trust, and Wellcome Trust).

Regions involved in discriminating perceived from imagined stimuli overlap with areas dysfunctional in schizophrenia
Regions involved in discriminating perceived from imagined stimuli overlap with areas dysfunctional in schizophrenia
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Research Focus



executive function




Clinical conditions

Alzheimer's disease



Cognitive impairment





Behavioural analysis

Computational modelling

Electroencephalography (EEG)

Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)

Magnetoencephalography (MEG)

Neuropsychological testing



Paul Bays

Lucy Cheke

Nicky Clayton

Paul Fletcher

Jane Garrison

Rik Henson

United Kingdom

Zara Bergstrom Web:

Charles Fernyhough Web:

Chris Frith Web:

Sam Gilbert Web:


Ian Dobbins Web:

Alex Fornito Web:

Marcia Johnson

Dan Schacter Web:

Associated News Items



Cheke, LG, Simons, JS, Clayton, NS (2015), “Higher BMI is associated with episodic memory deficits in young adults” Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology

Cooper RA, Plaisted-Grant KC, Hannula DE, Ranganath C, Baron-Cohen S, Simons JS (2015), “Impaired Recollection of Visual Scene Details in Adults With Autism Spectrum Conditions.” J Abnorm Psychol Details

Garrison, JR, Fernyhough, C, McCarthy-Jones, S, Haggard, M, The Australian Schizophrenia Research Bank, Simons, JS (2015), “Paracingulate sulcus morphology is associated with hallucinations in the human brain” Nature Communications 6, 8956

Hirst W, Phelps EA, Meksin R, Vaidya CJ, Johnson MK, Mitchell KJ, Buckner RL, Budson AE, Gabrieli JD, Lustig C, Mather M, Ochsner KN, Schacter D, Simons JS, Lyle KB, Cuc AF, Olsson A (2015), “A ten-year follow-up of a study of memory for the attack of September 11, 2001: Flashbulb memories and memories for flashbulb events.” J Exp Psychol Gen 144(3):604-23 Details

Trelle AN, Henson RN, Simons JS (2015), “Identifying age-invariant and age-limited mechanisms for enhanced memory performance: Insights from self-referential processing in younger and older adults.” Psychol Aging 30(2):324-33 Details


Bergström ZM, Vogelsang DA, Benoit RG, Simons JS (2014), “Reflections of Oneself: Neurocognitive Evidence for Dissociable Forms of Self-Referential Recollection.” Cereb Cortex Details

Brandt VC, Bergström ZM, Buda M, Henson RN, Simons JS (2014), “Did I turn off the gas? Reality monitoring of everyday actions.” Cogn Affect Behav Neurosci 14(1):209-19 Details

Yazar Y, Bergström ZM, Simons JS (2014), “Continuous Theta Burst Stimulation of Angular Gyrus Reduces Subjective Recollection.” PLoS One 9(10):e110414 Details


Bergström ZM, Anderson MC, Buda M, Simons JS, Richardson-Klavehn A (2013), “Intentional retrieval suppression can conceal guilty knowledge in ERP memory detection tests.” Biol Psychol 94(1):1-11 Details

Bergström ZM, Henson RN, Taylor JR, Simons JS (2013), “Multimodal imaging reveals the spatiotemporal dynamics of recollection.” Neuroimage 68:141-53 Details

Maister L, Simons JS, Plaisted-Grant K (2013), “Executive functions are employed to process episodic and relational memories in children with autism spectrum disorders.” Neuropsychology 27(6):615-27 Details

Peers PV, Simons JS, Lawrence AD (2013), “Prefrontal control of attention to threat.” Front Hum Neurosci 7:24 Details

Thom JM, Clayton NS, Simons JS (2013), “Imagining the future: A bird's eye view” The Psychologist 26: 418-421


Bergström ZM, O'Connor RJ, Li MK, Simons JS (2012), “Event-related potential evidence for separable automatic and controlled retrieval processes in proactive interference.” Brain Res 1455:90-102 Details

Dobbins IG, Jaeger A, Studer B, Simons JS (2012), “Use of explicit memory cues following parietal lobe lesions.” Neuropsychologia 50(13):2992-3003 Details

Fornito A, Harrison BJ, Zalesky A, Simons JS (2012), “Competitive and cooperative dynamics of large-scale brain functional networks supporting recollection.” Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 109(31):12788-93 Details

Yazar Y, Bergström ZM, Simons JS (2012), “What is the parietal lobe contribution to long-term memory?” Cortex 48(10):1381-2; discussion 1383-7 Details


Buda M, Fornito A, Bergström ZM, Simons JS (2011), “A specific brain structural basis for individual differences in reality monitoring.” J Neurosci 31(40):14308-13 Details

Cullen J, Buda M, Darby G, Simons JS (2011), “Time-travelling and mind-travelling: examining individual differences in self-projection.” Psychiatr Danub 23 Suppl 1:S182-6 Details

Lagioia A, Eliez S, Schneider M, Simons JS, Van der Linden M, Debbané M (2011), “Neural correlates of reality monitoring during adolescence.” Neuroimage 55(3):1393-400 Details

Okuda J, Gilbert SJ, Burgess PW, Frith CD, Simons JS (2011), “Looking to the future: automatic regulation of attention between current performance and future plans.” Neuropsychologia 49(8):2258-71 Details


Gilbert SJ, Henson RN, Simons JS (2010), “The Scale of Functional Specialization within Human Prefrontal Cortex.” J Neurosci 30(4):1233-7 Details

Simons JS, Peers PV, Mazuz YS, Berryhill ME, Olson IR (2010), “Dissociation between memory accuracy and memory confidence following bilateral parietal lesions.” Cereb Cortex 20(2):479-85 Details


Corlett PR, Simons JS, Pigott JS, Gardner JM, Murray GK, Krystal JH, Fletcher PC (2009), “Illusions and delusions: relating experimentally-induced false memories to anomalous experiences and ideas.” Front Behav Neurosci 3:53 Details

Hirst W, Phelps EA, Buckner RL, Budson AE, Cuc A, Gabrieli JD, Johnson MK, Lustig C, Lyle KB, Mather M, Meksin R, Mitchell KJ, Ochsner KN, Schacter DL, Simons JS, Vaidya CJ (2009), “Long-term memory for the terrorist attack of September 11: flashbulb memories, event memories, and the factors that influence their retention.” J Exp Psychol Gen 138(2):161-76 Details

Kapur N, Abbott P, Graham KS, Simons JS (2009), “The neuropsychology of human flashbulb memory” Interdisciplinary Aspects of Autobiographical Memory 75-102

Simons JS (2009), “Constraints on cognitive theories from neuroimaging studies of source memory” Neuroimaging of Human Memory: Linking Cognitive Processes to Neural Systems 405-426


Ally BA, Simons JS, McKeever JD, Peers PV, Budson AE (2008), “Parietal contributions to recollection: Electrophysiological evidence from aging and patients with parietal lesions.” Neuropsychologia 46(7):1800-1812 Details

Simons JS, Henson RN, Gilbert SJ, Fletcher PC (2008), “Separable forms of reality monitoring supported by anterior prefrontal cortex.” J Cogn Neurosci 20(3):447-57 Details

Simons JS, Mayes AR (2008), “What is the parietal lobe contribution to human memory?” Neuropsychologia 46(7):1739-1742 Details

Simons JS, Peers PV, Hwang DY, Ally BA, Fletcher PC, Budson AE (2008), “Is the parietal lobe necessary for recollection in humans?” Neuropsychologia 46(4):1185-91 Details

Turner MS, Simons JS, Gilbert SJ, Frith CD, Burgess PW (2008), “Distinct roles for lateral and medial rostral prefrontal cortex in source monitoring of perceived and imagined events.” Neuropsychologia 46(5):1442-53 Details


Budson AE, Simons JS, Waring JD, Sullivan AL, Hussoin T, Schacter DL (2007), “Memory for the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks one year later in patients with Alzheimer's disease, patients with mild cognitive impairment, and healthy older adults.” Cortex 43(7):875-88 Details

Burgess PW, Dumontheil I, Gilbert SJ, Okuda J, Schölvinck ML, Simons JS (2007), “On the role of rostral prefrontal cortex (area 10) in prospective memory” Prospective Memory: Cognitive, Neuroscience, Developmental, and Applied Perspectives 235-260

Gilbert SJ, Dumontheil I, Simons JS, Frith CD, Burgess PW (2007), “Comment on "Wandering minds: the default network and stimulus-independent thought".” Science 317(5834):43; author reply 43 Details

Gilbert SJ, Williamson IDM, Dumontheil I, Simons JS, Frith CD, Burgess PW (2007), “Distinct regions of medial rostral prefrontal cortex supporting social and nonsocial functions” Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience 2:217-226

Simons JS, Graham KS (2007), “Amnesia” Encyclopedia of Stress 158-160

Simons JS, Tetlow-Noell CE (2007), “Why life speeds up as you get older: How memory shapes our past” Psychological Medicine 37:906-907


Burgess PW, Gilbert SJ, Okuda J, Simons JS (2006), “Rostral prefrontal brain regions (area 10): A gateway between inner thought and the external world?” Disorders of Volition 373-396

Gilbert SJ, Simons JS, Frith CD, Burgess PW (2006), “Performance-related activity in medial rostral prefrontal cortex (area 10) during low-demand tasks.” J Exp Psychol Hum Percept Perform 32(1):45-58 Details

Gilbert SJ, Spengler S, Simons JS, Frith CD, Burgess PW (2006), “Differential functions of lateral and medial rostral prefrontal cortex (area 10) revealed by brain-behavior associations.” Cereb Cortex 16(12):1783-9 Details

Gilbert SJ, Spengler S, Simons JS, Steele JD, Lawrie SM, Frith CD, Burgess PW (2006), “Functional specialization within rostral prefrontal cortex (area 10): a meta-analysis.” J Cogn Neurosci 18(6):932-48 Details

Simons JS, Davis SW, Gilbert SJ, Frith CD, Burgess PW (2006), “Discriminating imagined from perceived information engages brain areas implicated in schizophrenia.” Neuroimage 32(2):696-703 Details

Simons JS, Schölvinck ML, Gilbert SJ, Frith CD, Burgess PW (2006), “Differential components of prospective memory? Evidence from fMRI.” Neuropsychologia 44(8):1388-97 Details


Burgess PW, Simons JS (2005), “Theories of frontal lobe executive function: Clinical applications” Effectiveness of Rehabilitation for Cognitive Deficits 211-231

Burgess PW, Simons JS, Coates LM, Channon S (2005), “The search for specific planning processes” The Cognitive Psychology of Planning 199-227

Burgess PW, Simons JS, Dumontheil I, Gilbert SJ (2005), “The gateway hypothesis of rostral prefrontal cortex (area 10) function” Measuring the Mind: Speed, Control, and Age 217-248

Honey GD, Honey RA, Sharar SR, Turner DC, Pomarol-Clotet E, Kumaran D, Simons JS, Hu X, Rugg MD, Bullmore ET, Fletcher PC (2005), “Impairment of specific episodic memory processes by sub-psychotic doses of ketamine: the effects of levels of processing at encoding and of the subsequent retrieval task.” Psychopharmacology (Berl) 181(3):445-57 Details

Maril A, Simons JS, Weaver JJ, Schacter DL (2005), “Graded recall success: an event-related fMRI comparison of tip of the tongue and feeling of knowing.” Neuroimage 24(4):1130-8 Details

Simons JS, Gilbert SJ, Owen AM, Fletcher PC, Burgess PW (2005), “Distinct roles for lateral and medial anterior prefrontal cortex in contextual recollection.” J Neurophysiol 94(1):813-20 Details

Simons JS, Owen AM, Fletcher PC, Burgess PW (2005), “Anterior prefrontal cortex and the recollection of contextual information.” Neuropsychologia 43(12):1774-83 Details

Simons JS, Verfaellie M, Hodges JR, Lee AC, Graham KS, Koutstaal W, Schacter DL, Budson AE (2005), “Failing to get the gist: reduced false recognition of semantic associates in semantic dementia.” Neuropsychology 19(3):353-61 Details


Budson AE, Simons JS, Sullivan AL, Beier JS, Solomon PR, Scinto LF, Daffner KR, Schacter DL (2004), “Memory and emotions for the september 11, 2001, terrorist attacks in patients with Alzheimer's disease, patients with mild cognitive impairment, and healthy older adults.” Neuropsychology 18(2):315-27 Details

Dobbins IG, Simons JS, Schacter DL (2004), “fMRI evidence for separable and lateralized prefrontal memory monitoring processes.” J Cogn Neurosci 16(6):908-20 Details

Pierce BH, Simons JS, Schacter DL (2004), “Aging and the seven sins of memory” Recent Advances in Psychology and Aging 15:1-40

Simons JS, Dodson CS, Bell D, Schacter DL (2004), “Specific- and partial-source memory: effects of aging.” Psychol Aging 19(4):689-94 Details


Graham KS, Johnsrude IS, Simons JS (2003), “The temporal lobe” Encyclopedia of the Neurological Sciences 4:486-495

Maril A, Simons JS, Mitchell JP, Schwartz BL, Schacter DL (2003), “Feeling-of-knowing in episodic memory: an event-related fMRI study.” Neuroimage 18(4):827-36 Details

Simons JS, Koutstaal W, Prince S, Wagner AD, Schacter DL (2003), “Neural mechanisms of visual object priming: evidence for perceptual and semantic distinctions in fusiform cortex.” Neuroimage 19(3):613-26 Details

Simons JS, Spiers HJ (2003), “Prefrontal and medial temporal lobe interactions in long-term memory.” Nat Rev Neurosci 4(8):637-48 Details


Lee AC, Graham KS, Simons JS, Hodges JR, Owen AM, Patterson K (2002), “Regional brain activations differ for semantic features but not categories.” Neuroreport 13(12):1497-501 Details

Nestor PJ, Graham KS, Bozeat S, Simons JS, Hodges JR (2002), “Memory consolidation and the hippocampus: further evidence from studies of autobiographical memory in semantic dementia and frontal variant frontotemporal dementia.” Neuropsychologia 40(6):633-54 Details

Simons JS, Graham KS, Hodges JR (2002), “Perceptual and semantic contributions to episodic memory: Evidence from semantic dementia and Alzheimer's disease” J Mem Lang 47:197-213

Simons JS, Verfaellie M, Galton CJ, Miller BL, Hodges JR, Graham KS (2002), “Recollection-based memory in frontotemporal dementia: implications for theories of long-term memory.” Brain 125(Pt 11):2523-36 Details


Simons JS, Graham KS, Galton CJ, Patterson K, Hodges JR (2001), “Semantic knowledge and episodic memory for faces in semantic dementia.” Neuropsychology 15(1):101-14 Details

Simons JS, Graham KS, Owen AM, Patterson K, Hodges JR (2001), “Perceptual and semantic components of memory for objects and faces: a pet study.” J Cogn Neurosci 13(4):430-43 Details


Graham KS, Simons JS, Pratt KH, Patterson K, Hodges JR (2000), “Insights from semantic dementia on the relationship between episodic and semantic memory.” Neuropsychologia 38(3):313-24 Details

Simons JS, Graham KS (2000), “New learning in semantic dementia: Implications for cognitive and neuroanatomical models of long-term memory” Revue de Neuropsychologie 10:199-215

Simons JS, Graham KS (2000), “Amnesia” Encyclopedia of Stress 176-178

Simons JS, Hodges JR (2000), “Transient global amnesia: A review of the recent literature” Neurocase 6:211-230


Simons JS, Graham KS, Hodges JR (1999), “What does semantic dementia reveal about the functional role of the perirhinal cortex?” Trends Cogn Sci 3(7):248-249 Details

Simons JS, Lambon Ralph MA (1999), “The auditory agnosias” Neurocase 5:379-406