Doctor LIU Xiaonan

CUHK Employment

Assistant Professor, Department of Psychology

Phone Number

+852 3943 4377


Xiaonan Liu is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychology at The Chinese University of Hong Kong. He received his Ph.D. from Carnegie Mellon University. Before his current position, he held a variety of academic roles at the University of California, Davis, and Xiamen University. In 2022, Dr. Liu was elected to the prestigious Memory Disorders Research Society.

The focus of Dr. Liu’s lab lies in employing behavioral studies, neuroimaging (EEG and fMRI), machine learning, and biologically based computational modeling to investigate the dynamic strengthening, alteration, and integration of memory, as well as the brain structures that support these processes. Additionally, Dr. Liu’s lab has developed a translational program that combines neuroimaging and machine learning techniques to improve memory in individuals with psychotic and neurocognitive disorders.


  • Ph.D. in Psychology & Neuroscience, Carnegie Mellon University, 2010-2015
  • B.S. in Psychology, Beijing Normal University, 2006-2010


Human Memory, Neuroimaging, Computational Modeling

Awards and Honours

  • Elected to the Memory Disorders Research Society (MDRS), 2022
  • Outstanding Teaching and Mentoring Award, Xiamen University, 2017


(1) Honorary Appointment

  • Assistant Professor, Hong Kong Hub of Paediatric Excellence (HK HOPE)

(2) Professional Service

  • Director, The Centre for Cognition and Brain Studies, CUHK
  • Faculty Board member, Faculty of Social Science, CUHK

Researcher ID

Web of Science Researcher ID: JAO-5348-2023


  • Zheng, Y., Sun, P., & Liu, X. L. (2023). Retrieval practice is costly and is beneficial only when working memory capacity is abundant. npj Science of Learning, 8(1), 8.

  • Williams, A. B., Liu, X.L., Hsieh, F., Hurtado, M., Lesh, T., Niendam, T., … & Ragland, J. D. (2023). Memory-Based Prediction Deficits and Dorsolateral Prefrontal Dysfunction in Schizophrenia. Biological Psychiatry: Cognitive Neuroscience and Neuroimaging, 8(1), 71-78.

  • Antony, J., Liu, X. L., Zheng, Y., Ranganath, C., & O’Reilly, R. C. (2022). Memory out of context: Spacing effects and decontextualization in a computational model of the medial temporal lobe. bioRxiv.

  • Liu, X.L., Ranganath, C., & O’Reilly, R. C. (2022). A complementary learning systems model of how sleep moderates retrieval practice effects. OSF Preprints.

  • Zheng, Y., Liu, X. L., Nishiyama, S., Ranganath, C., & O’Reilly, R. C. (2022). Correcting the hebbian mistake: Toward a fully error-driven hippocampus. PLoS Computational Biology, 18(10), e1010589.

  • Liu, X. L., O’Reilly, R. C., & Ranganath, C. (2021). Effects of retrieval practice on tested and untested information: Cortico-hippocampal interactions and error-driven learning. Psychology of Learning and Motivation, 75, 125-155.

  • Liu, X. L., & Ranganath, C. (2021). Resurrected memories: Sleep-dependent memory consolidation saves memories from competition induced by retrieval practice. Psychonomic bulletin & review, 28(6), 2035-2044.

  • Zheng, Y., Liu, X. L., Hsieh, L. T., Hurtado, M., Wang, Y., Niendam, T. A., … & Ragland, J. D. (2021). Disrupted modulation of alpha and low beta oscillations mediates temporal sequence memory deficits in people with schizophrenia. Biological Psychiatry: Cognitive Neuroscience and Neuroimaging, 6(12), 1157-1164.

  • Liu, X. L., Ranganath, C., Hsieh, L. T., Hurtado, M., Niendam, T. A., Lesh, T. A., … & Ragland, J. D. (2020). Task-specific disruptions in theta oscillations during working memory for temporal order in people with schizophrenia. Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, 32(11), 2117-2130. 

  • Zhang, J., Liu, X. L.(co-first author), So, M., & Reder, L. M. (2020). Familiarity acts as a reduction in objective complexity. Memory & Cognition, 48, 1376-1387.

  • Ragland, J. D., Liu, X. L., Williams, A. B., Tully, L. M., Niendam, T. A., Carter, C. S., & Ranganath, C. (2020). Retrieval practice facilitation of family psychoeducation in people with early psychosis. Schizophrenia Research, 223, 186-191.

  • Chen, X., Zhang, M., & Liu, X. L. (2019) Retrieval practice facilitates judgments of learning through multiple mechanisms: simultaneous and independent contribution of retrieval confidence and retrieval fluency. Frontiers in Psychology, 10, 987.

  • Zhang, M., Chen, X., & Liu, X. L. (2019). Confidence in accuracy moderates the benefits of retrieval practice. Memory, 27(4), 548-554.

  • Liu, X. L., Tan, D., & Reder, L. (2018). The two processes underlying the testing effect– evidence from Event-Related Potentials (ERPs). Neuropsychologia, 112, 77-85.