Memory Shapes Future Scenarios

Kathleen McDermott Washington University in St Louis

McDermott_KathleenKathleen McDermott’s recent work focuses on comparing the human abilities of remembering the past and envisioning specific future scenarios. Her research shows the neural substrates of these two actions to be interrelated, suggesting that envisioning the future may be impossible without a recollection of the past. Earlier work by McDermott included development of the Deese-Roediger-McDermott paradigm, which demonstrates that when given a list of related words there is a high probability of one falsely remembering an unlisted associated word. Additionally, using both behavioral and neuroimaging techniques McDermott studies why retrieval practice is beneficial in promoting retention of information over the long term.