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Menton Deweese, Ph.D.


Educational Background

University of Florida
Department of Psychology

On Teaching

My enthusiasm for teaching stems from an exceptional group of mentors, from whom I learned to think critically, communicate clearly, and seek connections between diverse ideas, disciplines, and communities. These skills and values have served as the foundation of my research career and have shaped my teaching philosophy. As an Instructor, I strive to create a collaborative classroom in which conceptual knowledge, experiential learning, and active inquiry come together to facilitate student success. I am a proponent of learning by doing, which provides a connection for the material discussed in the classroom to a tangible, applied, or feedback-driven outcome, and place considerable emphasis on teaching through demonstrations, discussing clinical case studies, and reviewing cutting-edge research relating to classroom topics. I am certified by the Center for the Integration of Research, Teaching, and Learning, have three years of undergraduate teaching experience at the University of Florida, served for four years as a consultant, lecturer, and mentor for the Cancer Prevention Research Training Program Summer Research Experience at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, and have also served as a Program Instructor for MD Anderson’s Tobacco Treatment Specialists Training Program. I have been an Instructor at the SSMV since the fall of 2018, where I have served as a classroom instructor, scientific project advisor, and mentor. Importantly, I am highly committed to training and mentoring, and am passionate about preparing the next generation of STEM leaders.


I am a Cognitive and Behavioral Neuroscientist whose research focuses on affective stimulus processing using psychophysiological (i.e., dense-array electroencephalography; EEG) and behavioral measures to study the neural mechanisms underlying compulsive cue-induced behaviors, such as nicotine addiction and obesity. My Master’s thesis examined hierarchical processing in the human visual system to determine which features of a cue (color, shape, orientation) influence the salience, or importance, of that cue in the brain. My PhD work showed that particularly salient environmental cues, (e.g., pictures of snakes for snake-phobic adults) automatically attract attentional resources at the cost of processing task-relevant information. As a postdoctoral fellow in Cancer Prevention at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, I had the opportunity to extend this research to other populations whose behavior is sensitive to environmental cues (e.g., smokers, obese and over-weight individuals). Since 2018, I have collaborated on educational outreach projects with the Vanderbilt Center for Addiction Research to educate high school and middle school students on the neurobiology of addiction and its effects on the adolescent brain through neuroscience-based education efforts. I am also the Core Co-Lead at the Vanderbilt Alcohol Use Disorder Research and Education Center Dissemination Core.


  • Deweese, MM, Roof, E, & Key, AP (2023). Food cue reward salience does not explain Hyperphagia in adolescents with Prader-Willi syndrome, Developmental Neuropsychology, DOI: 10.1080/87565641.2023.2276950
  • Versace F., Sambuco N., Deweese M.M., Cinciripini P.M. Electrophysiological normative responses to emotional, neutral, and cigarette-related images. Psychophysiology2022 Oct 31;:e14196doi: 10.1111/psyp.14196. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID: 36316228.
  • Grover, S., Oster, J., Ledeczi, A., Broll, B., & Deweese, M. M. (2022). Climate Science, Data Science and Distributed Computing to Build Teen Students’ Positive Perceptions of CS. In Proceedings of the 53rd ACM Technical Symposium on Computer Science Education V. 2 (pp. 1101-1101).
  • Deweese, M. M., Versace, F., Kypriotakis, G., Dirba, D., Daniel, C. R., & Schembre, S. M. (2021). Satiety does not affect neuroaffective electrophysiological responses to food-related or emotional visual cues. Behavioral Neuroscience, 135(4), 571–580.
  • Frank, D.W., Cinciripini, P.M., Deweese, M.M., Karam-Hage, M., Kypriotakis, G., Lerman, C., Robinson, J.D., Tyndale, R.F., Vidrine, D.J. and Versace, F., 2019. Toward Precision Medicine for Smoking Cessation: Developing a Neuroimaging-Based Classification Algorithm to Identify Smokers at Higher Risk for Relapse. Nicotine & Tobacco Research.
  • Versace, F., Frank, D. W., Stevens, E. M., Deweese, M. M., Guindani, M., & Schembre, S. M. (2019). The reality of “food porn”: Larger brain responses to food‐related cues than to erotic images predict cue‐induced eating. Psychophysiology56(4), e13309.
  • Stevens, E.M., Frank, D., Codispoti, M., Kypriotakis, G., Cinciripini, P.M., Claiborne, K., Deweese, M.M., Engelmann, J.M., Green, C.E., Karam-Hage, M., Minnix, J.A., Ng, J., Robinson, J.D., Tyndale, R.F., Vidrine, D.J., and Versace, F. (2019). The late positive potentials evoked by cigarette-related and emotional images show no gender differences in smokers. Scientific reports9(1), pp.1-8.
  • Versace, F., Stevens, E. M., Robinson, J. D., Cui, Y., Deweese, M. M., Engelmann, J. M., Green, C. E., Karam-Hage, M, Lam, C. Y., Minnix, J. A., Wetter, D.W., and Cinciripini, P. M. (2019). Brain Responses to Cigarette-Related and Emotional Images in Smokers During Smoking Cessation: No Effect of Varenicline or Bupropion on the Late Positive Potential. Nicotine and Tobacco Research21(2), 234-240.
  • Deweese, M.M., Codispoti, M., Robinson, J.D., Cinciripini, P.M., and Versace, F. (2018). Cigarette cues capture attention of smokers and never-smokers, but for different reasons. Drug and Alcohol Dependence. 185:50-57. doi: 10.1016/j.drugalcdep.2017.12.010.
  • Versace, F., Engelmann, J.M., Deweese, M.M., Robinson, J.D., Green, C.E., Lam, C.Y., Minnix, J.A., Karam-Hage M.A., Wetter, D.W., Schembre, S.M., and Cinciripini, P.M. (2017). Beyond cue reactivity: Non-drug-related motivationally relevant stimuli are necessary to understanding reactivity to drug-related cues. Nicotine and Tobacco Research.
  • Deweese, M.M., Müller, M.M., and Keil, A. (2016). Extent and Time Course of Competition in Visual Cortex between Emotionally Arousing Distractors and a Concurrent Task. European Journal of Neuroscience. doi: 10.1111/ejn.13180.
  • Deweese, M.M., Robinson, J.D., Cinciripini, P.M., and Versace, F. (2016). Conditioned cortical reactivity to cues predicting cigarette-related or pleasant images. International Journal of Psychophysiology. 101:59-68. doi:10.1016/j.ijpsycho.2016.01.007.
  • Deweese, M.M., Claiborne, K.N., Ng, J., Dirba, D.D., Stewart, H.L., Schembre, S.M., and Versace, F. (2015) Dispensing apparatus for use in a cued food delivery task. MethodsX. doi:10.1016/j.mex.2015.11.002
  • Simon, E., Oren, N., Sharon, H., Kirschner , A., Goldway, N., Okon-Singer, H., Tauman, R., Deweese, M.M., Keil, A.,  and Hendler, T. (2015). Losing neutrality: the neural basis of impaired emotional control without sleep. Journal of Neuroscience, 35(38):13194-13205; doi:10.1523/JNEUROSCI.1314-15.2015
  • McGinnis Deweese, M., Bradley, M.M., Lang, P.J., Andersen, S.K., Müller, M.M., & Keil, A. (2014). Snake fearfulness is associated with sustained competitive biases to visual snake features: Hypervigilance without avoidance. Psychiatry Research. doi: 10.1016/j.psychres.2014.05.042.
  • Liu, Y., Huang, H., McGinnis Deweese, E.M., Keil, A., & Ding, M. (2012). Neural substrate of the late positive potential in emotional processing. Journal of Neuroscience, 32(42):14563-72. doi: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.3109-12.2012.
  • Keil A., Costa V., Smith J.C., Sabatinelli D., McGinnis E.M., Bradley M.M., Lang P.J. (2011). Tagging Cortical Networks in Emotion: A Topographical Analysis, Human Brain Mapping. doi: 10.1002/hbm.21413.
  • McGinnis E.M. & Keil A. (2011). Selective Processing of Multiple Features in the Human Brain: Effects of Feature Type and Salience. PLoS ONE 6(2): e16824. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0016824.

Recently Funded Collaborations

  • Vanderbilt AUD Research and Education Center (VAREC), P60 RFA-AA-21-006, NIAAA, PI: Erin Calipari, 2024-2028, Role: Co-Investigator, Dissemination Core
  • Gallery Lab: Using exhibitions to connect STEM and art research. Rapid-advancement MicroGrant Program, Research Development and Support, Internal Awards, Office of the Vice Provost for Research and Innovation, Vanderbilt University, 2024-2025. Role: Co-Principal Investigator
  • Expanding EDI-focused Professional Development Opportunities for Staff and Postdoctoral Fellows; Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Grants Program, Vanderbilt University, 2021-2022, Role: Principal Investigator
  • Using Accelerometers and Video Analysis to Study Sport-Related Concussions in Adolescent Athletes, Nashville Predators Foundation Grant, 2021, Role: Principal Investigator