Dr. Geoff Maddox: Memory and Cognition Lab

Research in the Memory and Cognition Lab addresses three broad issues: (a) the relationship between episodic memory and other cognitive mechanisms such as attentional control, (b) differences in episodic memory between young and healthy older adults, and (c) how long term memory can be improved in both of these groups.

Spaced Study and Testing

The long term memory benefit obtained when study events are spaced across time relative to study events that are massed with no intervening time is well established. The benefit of spaced study extends to and is often enhanced when study events are replaced with tests. Critically, this technique has been shown to effectively improve memory in both young adults and healthy older adults. Research in the Memory and Cognition Lab seeks to better understand how and why this technique works and how young and older adults are able to apply this technique with minimum influence from the experimenter.

Bui, D.C., Maddox, G.M., & Balota, D.A. (2012). The roles of working memory and intervening task difficulty in determining the benefits of repetition. Psychonomic Bulletin & Review.

Maddox, G.M., & Balota, D.A. (2012). Self control of when and how much to test face-name pairs in a novel spaced retrieval paradigm: An examination of age-related differences. Aging, Neuropsychology, and Cognition, 19, 620-643.

Maddox, G.M. , Balota, D.A., Coane, J.H., & Duchek, J.M. (2011). The role of age-related differences in forgetting rates in producing a benefit of expanded over equal spaced retrieval. Psychology and Aging, 26, 661-670.

Wahlheim, C.N., Maddox, G.M., & Jacoby, L.L. (in press). The roles of controlled and automatic reminding in producing the benefit of spaced repetitions in memory performance. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory & Cognition.

Aging and Attention

Research suggests that the decline in episodic memory with age is due in part to older adults’ inability to successfully associate components of an event during learning and successfully remember those associations at retrieval. Additional evidence suggests that breakdown in attentional control with age also contributes to age-related decline in episodic memory. To better understand the age-related decline in episodic memory, the Memory and Cognition lab utilizes a variety of paradigms and materials to examine the extent to which attention modulates memory performance. For example, past research has examined the trade off in memory for emotional items versus emotional word pairs.

Maddox, G.M., Naveh-Benjamin, M., Old, S., & Kilb, A. (in press). The role of attention in the associative binding of emotionally arousing words. Psychonomic Bulletin & Review.

Naveh-Benjamin, M., Maddox, G.M, Jones, P, Old, S, & Kilb, A. (2012). The effects of emotional valence and gender on the associative memory deficit of older adults. Memory & Cognition, 40, 551-566.

Learn more about Dr. Maddox here.