Kathryn C Dickerson

Kathryn C Dickerson

Assistant Professor in Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences

External Address: 
308 Research Drive, Box 90999, Durham, NC 27708


Kathryn (Katie) Dickerson completed her B.A. in Brain and Cognitive Sciences from the University of Rochester in 2006. She then joined Dr. Mauricio Delgado's lab at Rutgers University-Newark earning her Ph.D. in Behavioral and Neural Sciences in 2011. She moved to Durham and joined the lab of Dr. Alison Adcock at Duke University where she was a post-doc from 2011-2016. She received a KL2 award in 2016 and was promoted to Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Duke University.

Katie is interested in how reward and motivation influence what we learn and remember. She focuses on studying the dopamine system in healthy humans and clinical populations using a combination of behavioral, functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), and real-time fMRI methods. 

Education & Training

  • Ph.D., Rutgers University 2011

Selected Grants

Instructed Activation of the Human Dopaminergic Midbrain Using Real-Time fMRI in Nicotine-Dependent Individuals awarded by Brain and Behavior Research Foundation (Postdoctoral Associate). 2016 to 2021

Duke CTSA (KL2) awarded by National Institutes of Health (Scholar). 2013 to 2018

Instructed Activation of the Human Dopaminergic Midbrain using Real-Time fMRI awarded by National Institutes of Health (PI-Fellow). 2014 to 2016

Haugg, Amelie, et al. “Predictors of real-time fMRI neurofeedback performance and improvement - A machine learning mega-analysis.Neuroimage, vol. 237, Aug. 2021, p. 118207. Pubmed, doi:10.1016/j.neuroimage.2021.118207. Full Text

Haugg, Amelie, et al. “Can we predict real-time fMRI neurofeedback learning success from pretraining brain activity?Hum Brain Mapp, vol. 41, no. 14, Oct. 2020, pp. 3839–54. Pubmed, doi:10.1002/hbm.25089. Full Text

MacInnes, Jeff J., et al. “Pyneal: Open Source Real-Time fMRI Software.Front Neurosci, vol. 14, 2020, p. 900. Pubmed, doi:10.3389/fnins.2020.00900. Full Text

Stanek, Jessica K., et al. “Expected Reward Value and Reward Uncertainty Have Temporally Dissociable Effects on Memory Formation.J Cogn Neurosci, vol. 31, no. 10, Oct. 2019, pp. 1443–54. Pubmed, doi:10.1162/jocn_a_01411. Full Text

Dickerson, Kathryn C. “Upregulating brain activity using non-drug reward imagery and real-time fMRI neurofeedback-A new treatment approach for addiction?Ebiomedicine, vol. 38, Dec. 2018, pp. 21–22. Pubmed, doi:10.1016/j.ebiom.2018.11.021. Full Text

MacDuffie, Katherine E., et al. “Single session real-time fMRI neurofeedback has a lasting impact on cognitive behavioral therapy strategies.Neuroimage Clin, vol. 19, 2018, pp. 868–75. Pubmed, doi:10.1016/j.nicl.2018.06.009. Full Text Open Access Copy

MacInnes, Jeff J., and Kathryn Dickerson. “Real-Time Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging.” Els, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd, 2018. Manual, doi:10.1002/9780470015902.a0027168. Full Text

Dickerson, Kathryn, and R. Alison Adcock. “Motivation and Memory.” Stevens’ Handbook of Experimental Psychology and Cognitive Neuroscience, John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 2018. Manual, doi:10.1002/9781119170174.epcn107. Full Text

MacInnes, Jeff J., et al. “Cognitive Neurostimulation: Learning to Volitionally Sustain Ventral Tegmental Area Activation.Neuron, vol. 89, no. 6, Mar. 2016, pp. 1331–42. Pubmed, doi:10.1016/j.neuron.2016.02.002. Full Text

Murty, V. P., and K. C. Dickerson. “Motivational influences on memory.” Advances in Motivation and Achievement, vol. 19, Jan. 2016, pp. 203–27. Scopus, doi:10.1108/S0749-742320160000019019. Full Text


Hakimi, Shabnam, et al. “Embedded Temporal Patterns in the Feedback Signal Differentially Predict VTA Neurofeedback-Mediated Learning to Self-Regulate Motivation.” Neuropsychopharmacology, vol. 45, no. SUPPL 1, 2020, pp. 378–79.

Adcock, Rachel, et al. “144. Cognitive Neurostimulation: Volitional Regulation of Ventral Tegmental Area.” Biological Psychiatry, vol. 85, no. 10, Elsevier BV, 2019, pp. S60–S60. Crossref, doi:10.1016/j.biopsych.2019.03.158. Full Text

Dickerson, Kathryn, et al. “Real-Time fMRI as a CBT Adjunct: Predicting the Behavioral Impact of Neurofeedback.” Neuropsychopharmacology, vol. 43, NATURE PUBLISHING GROUP, 2018, pp. S125–26.

Dickerson, Kathryn, et al. “T157. Using Real-Time fMRI Neurofeedback as a Tool for Demonstrating Therapeutic Efficacy.” Biological Psychiatry, vol. 83, no. 9, Elsevier BV, 2018, pp. S189–S189. Crossref, doi:10.1016/j.biopsych.2018.02.494. Full Text

Dickerson, Kathryn, et al. “Cognitive Neurostimulation of the Dopamine System.” Neuropsychopharmacology, vol. 41, NATURE PUBLISHING GROUP, 2016, pp. S500–01.