Our lab studies human memory with a particular focus on the subjective experience of memory. For example, how do we know that some bit of information coming to mind was experienced in the past? How do we know that some bit of information will be remembered in the future? Each of these questions can be considered under the rubric of metacognition, our understanding of our own cognitive processes. We study metacognition using a variety of methodologies, participant populations, and materials. A great deal of our work leads us to ask individuals to learn some bit of material (be it words, faces, or pictures) and make a prediction regarding the likelihood that this information will be remembered in the future. The correspondence between such judgments and subsequent memory performance tells us a great deal about how we understand our own memories and how we use this information in the course of learning. In addition to these core interests in metacognition, we investigate a variety of other issues. This includes understanding those factors that influence our ability to remember a face, working memory, and individual differences in memory, including the impact of healthy aging on memory function. We also have a keen interest in the application of cognition to education, manifest in some recent work attempting to understand the influence of feedback on error correction. Ultimately, the goal of all of our research is to develop a better understanding of memory and the subjective experience of memory so as to use this information to advance theory and optimize learning.
Memory and metamemory