Memory and Cognition Laboratory

Rice University, Houston, TX

Sewall Hall

About Our Lab

No one likes it, but it happens to the best of us—that  frustrating feeling of trying to remember something you know  that you knew at one time, but which now inexplicably eludes you.  From older adults lamenting another “senior moment” to students stumped on a final exam, memory failures are an unwelcome but woefully familiar experience for everyone.  Our research has focused on trying to understand how some of these failures occur and how we can improve our chances of avoiding them in the future. 


We integrate both behavioral and neuroimaging (fMRI) techniques to explore episodic memory formation and retrieval in healthy younger and older adults.  In manipulations of memory formation (encoding) and retrieval, we have used a variety of materials (word fragment completion, paired associates, face-name pairs, and foreign language vocabulary words) to explore how basic principles of cognition can be applied to improving learning and retention in younger and older adults.