B.A. Rice, M.Sc., M.Phil., Ph.D. Yale
|Phone: (709) 864-8159|
In most areas of scientific research, there exist laws and principles that are the foundation of research and theory within that discipline. In the domain of human memory, however, there are few principles and no widely accepted laws (Roediger, 2008). One reason offered for the lack of laws and principles is that memory is not a unitary system but rather is made up of multiple different systems: Because each memory system has different properties and operates according to different principles, "no profound generalizations can be made about memory as a whole" (Tulving, 1985, p. 385). My research challenges this account by seeking evidence for general principles of memory that apply widely over different time scales, different tests, and different hypothetical underlying memory systems.
With A. M. Surprenant, I have just published a monograph (Surprenant & Neath, 2009) which proposes that system-wide principles of memory can indeed be found, and my current research tests the generality of the principles we proposed using a combination of behavioural and computational approaches. The goal is to see how far an explanation of memory based on a unitary system view can be extended before it fails.
Prospective Honours Students
If you are an honours student looking for a supervisor, feel free to email me and we'll see if our interests overlap.
Prospective Graduate Students
If you are thinking about graduate school and you are interested in memory, cognitive aging, memory models, or any related area, please feel free to email me to see if my lab might be a good fit for you.