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Research Overview

Cognitive Aging

Our lab examines how memory and other cognitive abilities are affected by healthy aging. A major goal of our research is to design methods to improve memory performance in older adults. Much work from our lab and other labs shows that there are cognitive and neurological changes associated with aging that can lead to memory declines. Yet, there are also personal and societal expectations that influence memory performance, which can contribute to these observed age differences in memory. One goal of our research is to change these negative performance expectations to improve older adults’ memory performance.  A second goal of our work is to determine which aspects of memory decline and which aspects of memory are spared with aging. For example, we are interested in implicit memory (the unaware and automatic use of memory) because this form of memory appears to be largely intact in older adults well into their 80s and 90s.

**We are now recruiting adults ages 65 and up to participate in this study. If you are interested, visit our Participate in a study page.

Metacognition

Our lab also examines memory performance in younger adults both in the laboratory and in the classroom. Much of this work focuses on understanding and improving metacognition, or the knowledge and awareness of one’s mental processes (the accuracy of ones memory, for example). One goal of this line of research is to improve students’ metacognition and potentially improve their performance in the classroom.