Research Projects and Questions

  • Conscious and Unconscious Memory: When behavior changes as a function of experience it reflects memory. What kind of memory does it reflect? I determine if memory and learned behaviors reflect conscious, declarative memory or whether they reflect unconscious, nondeclarative memory. Eye movements are an example of a behavior that changes with experience and reflects memory. ┬áBy measuring experience-dependent eye movements I learn how memory is organized.
  • Memory for the Recent and Remote Past: One of my passions is to illuminate what happens to memories after they form. We know that as time passes after learning memories consolidate and become less vulnerable to disruption. Which brain regions and networks support this process? Is memory consolidation impaired in some patients and not others? Why is this the case? I examine healthy individuals and patients who have memory problems to identify which brain structures support the consolidation process.
  • Structural and Functional Neuroimaging: Cognition is supported by specific brain regions and brain networks. I measure brain structure and brain function using magnetic resonance imaging. Using these methods I can identify which brain regions are damaged or dysfunctional in people who have cognitive impairments. In addition, I examine the healthy brain to discover how it accomplishes learning and memory.