Marcia K. Johnson is the Sterling Professor of Psychology, Department of Psychology, Yale University. She is a cognitive psychologist/cognitive neuroscientist known primarily for her work on human memory and cognition. She received her PhD from the University of California, Berkeley in 1971, and was on the faculty of Stony Brook University from 1970-1985, Princeton University from 1985-2000, and Yale University from 2000 to the present. She is past Chair of the Psychonomic Society, and served as Chair of the Yale Psychology Department and as a Trustee of the Cattell Foundation. She received the William James Award from the Association for Psychological Science, Distinguished Scientific Contribution Award from the American Psychological Association, Gold Medal Award for Life Achievement in the Science of Psychology from the American Psychological Foundation, Master Mentor Award from APA?s Division 20, Yale University Graduate School Mentorship Award, a Guggenheim Fellowship, and Fellowships from the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences and the Cattell Foundation.

Research Interests

My laboratory studies human memory and cognition more broadly. The lab's early work focused on the relation between comprehension and memory, especially constructive and reconstructive mental processes. My colleagues and I then undertook a systematic study of the mechanisms of memory distortion, including empirical investigations of reality monitoring-exploring how the memory representations of perception and thought (inferences, imaginations) are alike and how they are different, how they are discriminated, and why they are sometimes confused. We have suggested that the phenomena of both true and false memories can be understood within a more general framework that addresses how the features of experience become bound into complex representations and how activated information is later attributed to specific sources during remembering (the source monitoring framework). We have proposed that the mechanisms that underlie these processes consist of component perceptual and reflective processes (the MEM framework) that constitute cognition. We have also investigated changes in cognitive processes associated with aging and the relation between cognition and emotion.

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Primary Section

Section 52: Psychological and Cognitive Sciences