Kelly Giovanello

Kelly Giovanello

Associate Professor
Department of Psychology & Neuroscience

Davie Hall 341A, 3270
Chapel Hill, NC 27599

Cognitive Neuroscience of Memory Laboratory


BS in Biology, Stonehill College
MS in Neuroscience,  Brandeis University
PhD in Neuroscience, Boston University
Postdoctoral Fellow in Cognitive Neuroscience, Harvard University and Martinos Center for Biomedical Imaging 

Research Interests and Goals

My research combines behavioral, patient-based, and functional neuroimaging approaches to investigate the cognitive neuroscience of human learning and memory.

My primary research focus is in elucidating the cognitive processes and neural mechanisms mediating relational memory - the form of memory which represents relationships among items or informational elements. In everyday life, relational memory processes play a critical role in linking or binding together the various cognitive, affective, and contextual components of a learning event into an integrated memory trace. I am interested in exploring the cognitive and neural processes mediating relational memory in young adults and examining how these processes change with healthy aging and neurodegenerative disease (particularly Alzheimer’s disease).


  1. Ford, J. H., Giovanello, K. S., Guskiewicz, K. M. (in press). Episodic memory in former professional football players with a history of concussion: An event-related functional neuroimaging study. Journal of Neurotrauma
  2. De Brigard, F., Addis, D. R., Ford, J. H., Schacter, D. L., & Giovanello, K. S. (2013). Remembering what could have happened: Neural correlates of episodic counterfactual thinking. Neuropsychologia.
  3. Giovanello, K.S., De Brigard, F., Ford, J.H., Kaufer, D., Browndyke, K., & Welsh-Bohmer, K. (2012). Functional-anatomic correlates of relational memory in healthy aging and MCI. Journal of the International Neuropsychological Society, 18, 886-97.
  4. Giovanello, K.S. & Schacter, D. L. (2012). Reduced specificity of hippocampal and posterior ventrolateral prefrontal activity during relational retrieval in normal aging. Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, 24, 159-170.
  5. Gao, W., Gilmore, J.H., Giovanello, K.S., Smith, J.K., Shen, D., Zhu, H. & Lin, W. (2011). Temporal and spatial evolution of brain network topology during the first two years of life. PLoS One, 6(9): e25278.