Nathan Spreng, PhD

Contact Information

Email: nathan.spreng [at] mcgill.ca (Nathan Spreng)
Website: Laboratory of Brain and Cognition
Recent Publications: Google Scholar
Academic Affiliations: Neurology and Neurosurgery
Research Group: Cognitive Neuroscience


The Laboratory of Brain and Cognition is directed by Dr. R. Nathan Spreng, an Associate Professor in the Department of Neurology and Neurosurgery at McGill University. The lab examines large-scale brain network dynamics and their role in cognition. Currently, we investigate attention, memory, cognitive control, and social cognition, and the interacting brain networks that support them. We are also actively involved in the development and implementation of multivariate and network-based statistical approaches to assess brain structure, connectivity and activity. In doing so, we aim to better understand the properties of brain networks underlying cognitive processes as they change across the lifespan in health and disease.

Selected publications

Schmitz, T.W. & Spreng, R.N. (2016). Basal forebrain degeneration precedes and predicts the cortical spread of Alzheimer’s pathology. Nature Communications, 7, 13249.

Turner, G.R. & Spreng, R.N. (2015). Prefrontal engagement and reduced default network suppression co-occur and are dynamically coupled in older adults: The default – executive coupling hypothesis of aging. Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, 27, 2462-2476.

Spreng, R.N., DuPre, E., Selarka, D., Garcia, J., Gojkovic, S., Mildner, J., Luh, W.-M. & Turner, G.R. (2014). Goal-congruent default network activity facilitates cognitive control. Journal of Neuroscience, 34, 14108-14111.

Andrews-Hanna, J.R., Smallwood, J. & Spreng, R.N. (2014). The default network and self-generated thought: Component processes, dynamic control, and clinical relevance. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, 1316, 29-52.

Spreng, R.N., Sepulcre, J., Turner, G.R., Stevens, W.D. & Schacter, D.L. (2013). Intrinsic architecture underlying the relations among the default, dorsal attention, and frontoparietal control networks of the human brain. Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, 25, 74-86.

Spreng, R.N., Stevens, W.D., Chamberlain, J., Gilmore, A.W. & Schacter, D.L. (2010). Default network activity, coupled with the frontoparietal control network, supports goal-directed cognition.NeuroImage, 53, 303-317.

Spreng, R.N., Mar, R.A. & Kim, A.S.N. (2009). The common neural basis of autobiographical memory, prospection, navigation, theory of mind and the default mode: A quantitative meta-analysis. Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, 21, 489-510.