My lab group studies human memory and considers such issues as the component processes of reflection and consciousness, mechanisms of veridical and distorted memory, memory disorders (resulting from amnesia, frontal brain damage, aging), and the relation between emotion and cognition. Ongoing research questions include: (1) A component processes analysis of memory and cognition. What are the basic "processing units" underlying memory? How are these component processes organized and how do they interact? (2) Memory binding. How are individual features of experience (e.g., color, shape, location, emotion) bound together to create complex memories? What processes are needed in addition to perceptual binding? (3) Reality monitoring/source monitoring. How are the memory representations of perception and thought (imagination, dreams, fantasies) alike and how are they different? How are they discriminated, and why are they sometimes confused? What is the role of emotion in memory distortions? More generally, what is the relation between our attributions about the sources of memories, knowledge, and beliefs, and their actual origins? (4) Aging and memory. We are exploring age-related changes in memory in all of the above--in identifying component processes of cognition, in binding the attributes of memories, and in source monitoring. We use cognitive/behavioral and neuroimaging (fMRI) techniques to investigate these questions.
Higgins, J.A., & Johnson, M.K. (2009). The consequence of refreshing for access to non-selected items in young and older adults. Memory & Cognition, 37, 164-174.
Johnson, M.K., Nolen-Hoeksema, S., Mitchell, K.J., & Levin, Y. (2009). Medial cortex activity, self-reflection, and depression. Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience, 4, 313-327.
Johnson, M.R., & Johnson, M.K. (2009). Top-down enhancement and suppression of activity in category-selective extrastriate cortex from an act of reflective attention. Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, 21, 2320-2327.
Mitchell, K.J., & Johnson, M.K. (2009). Source monitoring 15 years later: What have we learned from fMRI about the neural mechanisms of source memory? Psychological Bulletin, 135, 638-677.
Raye, C.L., Mitchell, K.J., Reeder, J.A., Greene, E.J., & Johnson, M.K. (2008). Refreshing one of several active representations: Behavioral and functional magnetic resonance imaging differences between young and older adults. Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, 20, 852-862.