Human Memory Lab
Colleen M. Parks


The Human Memory Lab at UNLV investigates the cognitive processes that underlie the encoding, storage, and retrieval of information—basically, the processes that underlie memory.  The majority of our research focuses on recognition memory—the ability to tell the difference between something you’ve experienced and something that’s new to you.   Our research is generally guided by the dual process theory of recognition, the idea that there are two qualitatively different processes underlying recognition memory: recollection and familiarity.  Recollection is the process that allows you to remember specific details about prior events and familiarity is simply the feeling that you’ve experienced that thing before.  For example, when you run into someone on the street whose name you can’t remember but you’re sure you know—that’s familiarity.  When you remember that the person is so-and-so and that you met her at the-place when you were doing the-thing—that’s recollection.  We investigate these processes using a variety of methods (ROCs, remember-know, process-dissociation procedure) and in different types of memory tasks (item memory, source memory, associative memory). Our ultimate goal is to help advance scientific theories of memory.

Lab director
contact info

4505 Maryland Parkway | Box 455030 | Las Vegas, Nevada 89154-3054
Phone: use email | Fax: 702-895-0195
© Colleen M. Parks

Image adapted from fractal designed by brood at Electric Sheep

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