Principal Investigator: Dr. Bill Hockley
Research Summary: Dr. Hockley’s research focuses on questions concerning the encoding, storage, and retrieval of item information (the representation of individual events) and associative information (the representation of relations between events) in recognition memory. Research has addressed, for example, the basis of the “mirror effect”, an important regularity of recognition memory where differences in performance are reflected in the accuracy and response time of both old and new decisions, the “revelation effect”, an ill-understood influence of unrelated tasks on recognition memory decisions, similarities and differences between the recognition of item and associative information, and recognition of normal versus obscured faces. A unifying theme of this research concerns the distinction between recognition decisions based on the recollection or retrieval of specific details of a prior experience, and recognition decisions based on attributions of familiarity in the absence of recollection.
Implications of the Research: Research in the Memory Laboratory is motivated primarily by theoretical concerns that involve the testing and evaluation of models of recognition memory. However, this type of basic research also produces paradigms and patterns of results that can be used to investigate the neurophysiological bases of cognitive processes, provide tests and benchmarks to assess changes in normal cognitive functioning due to aging and disorders such as Alzheimer’s Disease, and inform applied research in such domains as educational psychology and eyewitness memory.