Analysis Methods of Behavioral Data from Memory Experiments

To address research questions related to human memory, we record accuracy and speed of recognition decisions in computer experiments (z.B. "Did you see the following word in the learning phase of this experiment, or is it a new word?"). In addition to simple analyses of recognition accuracy we also calculate receiver-operating characteristis (ROC), which give insights into the manner in which memory contents are retrieved. The most relevant distinction is between familarity-based retrieval ("Does this word look familiar?") and recollection-based retrieval ("Can I recall specific details from the study phase, which tell me that this is a previously studied word?"). For memory tests in which participants freely recall the learned materials, we analyze, in addition to simply recall probability of individual stimuli, in which order the stimuli are retrieved. This analysis method gives insights into the extent to which connections between study items are formed during learning.

 

Neurocognition and Psychophysiology

Our focus with respect to neuro-cognitive and psychophysiological methods is the EEG-method. In specific, we examine relatively small deflections in the EEG that reflect neural and cognitive processes elicited by discrete events (e.g., the presentation of an individual word to be learned in a memory task): So-called event-related potentials.

We follow a multimodal approach and combine the EEG-method with other psychophysiological methods, including eye-tracking, periperal physiology (e.g., EKG, pupillometry, blood pressure) and neuroendocrine analyses (cortisol, alpha-amylase). We also have plans to integrate hemodynamic measures of brain activity in our research.

For information on brand new EEG / psychophysiology-lab of the Division of Biological and Clinical Psychology and our group, click here.