College of Natural Sciences Colorado State University Department of Psychology

Cognitive Faculty Research Interests and Representative Publications

Please follow this link to a list of Student Publications.

Dr. Anne Cleary maintains an active research laboratory that investigates the processes involved in recognition memory. One line of research is aimed at identifying what features of an item or situation can produce familiarity-based recognition. A second line of research is aimed at investigating the neural correlates of the different bases of recognition, including the neural underpinnings of feature-based familiarity. A third line of research is aimed at linking feelings of familiarity in recognition with such day-to-day experiences as the tip-of-the-tongue phenomenon and déjà vu experiences.

Cleary, A. M., Brown, A. S., Sawyer, B. D., Nomi, J. S., Ajoku, A. C., & Ryals, A. J. (2012). Familiarity from the configuration of objects in 3-dimensional space and its relation to déjà vu: A virtual reality investigation. Consciousness and Cognition, 21, 969-975.

Kostic, B. & Cleary, A. M. (2009). Song recognition without identification: When people cannot “name that tune” but can recognize it as familiar. Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, 138, 146-159.

Cleary, A. M. (2004). Orthography, phonology, and meaning: Word features that give rise to feelings of familiarity in recognition. Psychonomic Bulletin & Review, 11, 446-451.


Dr. Benjamin Clegg conducts research investigating a variety of aspects of human performance, including how to apply principles from cognitive psychology to real-world tasks and skills. His work examines issues such as training, automation, and situation awareness. The focus of Dr. Clegg’s basic research is on sequencing and sequence learning, including implicit learning.

Abrahamse, E. L., Jimenez, L., Verwey, W. B., & Clegg, B. A. (2010).  Representing serial action and perception. Psychonomic Bulletin and Review, 17(5), 603-623.

Blalock, L. D., Sawyer, B. D., Kiken, A. & Clegg, B. A. (2009). The impact of load on dynamic versus static situational knowledge while driving. Proceedings of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society 53rd Annual Meeting, 1338-1342.

Clegg, B. A., Heggestad, E. D., & Durrance Blalock, L. (2010). The influences of automation and trainee aptitude on training effectiveness. Proceedings of 54th Annual Meeting of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society, 2329-2332.


Dr. Edward DeLosh maintains an active research laboratory investigating basic encoding and retrieval processes in human learning and memory. One focus is on how the act of retrieval enhances subsequent memory as observed in phenomena such as the testing and generation effects. This topic is investigated from both a theoretical and applied perspective, with an eye toward educational applications. Other work examines how the distinctive features of items versus the relationship between items influence memory, as observed in phenomenon such as the word frequency effect. Still other work considers the role of memory for individual instances versus abstraction in conceptual behavior such as prediction, interpolation, and extrapolation.

Carpenter, S. K., & DeLosh, E. L. (2006). Impoverished cue support enhances subsequent retention: Support for the elaborative retrieval explanation of the testing effect. Memory & Cognition, 34, 268-276. 

Merritt, P., DeLosh, E. L., & McDaniel, M. A. (2006). Effects of word frequency on individual-item and serial-order retention: Tests of the order-encoding view. Memory & Cognition, 34, 1615-1627.

Sensenig, A. E., Littrell, M. K., & DeLosh, E. L. (in press). Testing effects for common versus proper names. Memory.


Dr. Matthew G. Rhodes examines human memory and metacognition. One line of work investigates how subjective experience is related to memory performance, particularly for tasks such as predicting future memory performance. Other work examines subjective experience and its relation to memory accuracy, including how it pertains to aging populations. Dr. Rhodes also maintains lines of work examining memory for faces, predictors of individual differences in memory accuracy, and recognition memory processes.

Rhodes, M. G., & Anastasi, J. S.  (2012).  The own-age bias in face recognition: A meta-analytic and theoretical review.  Psychological Bulletin, 138, 146-174.

Rhodes, M. G., & Tauber, S. K.   (2011).  The influence of delaying Judgments of Learning (JOLs) on metacognitive accuracy: A meta-analytic review.  Psychological Bulletin, 137, 131-148.

Rhodes, M. G., & Castel, A. D.  (2008).  Memory predictions are influenced by perceptual information: Evidence for metacognitive illusions.  Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, 137, 615-625.


Dr. Carol Seger studies the neural systems underlying executive  functions, decision making, memory, and learning, particularly  categorization and sequence learning.  Much of the current research in  her lab examines how these cognitive processes rely on interactions  between the basal ganglia and cerebral cortex. Her lab also studies  declarative memory processes in the medial temporal lobe and how they  interact with the basal ganglia.  The primary research methodologies in  her lab are functional magnetic resonance imaging, behavioral testing,  and computational modeling.

Seger, C. A & Miller, E. K. (2010) Category learning in the brain.   Annual Review of Neuroscience. 33, 203-219.

Seger, C. A Peterson, E., Lopez-Paniagua, D., Cincotta, C. M., & Anderson, C. M (2010). Dissociating the contributions of independent corticostriatal systems to visual categorization learning through the use of reinforcement learning modeling and Granger causality modeling. NeuroImage. 50, 644-656.

Seger, C. A., Dennison, C. S., Lopez-Paniagua, D Peterson, E. J., & Roark A. (2011). Dissociating hippocampal and basal ganglia contributions to category learning using stimulus novelty and subjective judgments.  NeuroImage, 55, 1739-1753.


Dr. Jessica K. Witt examines the effects of action on perception.  For example, softball players who are hitting better than others see the ball as bigger.  Objects that are easier to block look to be moving slower than objects that are more difficult to block.  People who are obese see distances as farther.  Her findings demonstrate that perception is not just a function of optical information but is also influenced by the perceiver's body, abilities, and intentions.

Witt, J. K., & Brockmole, J. R. (2012).  Action alters object identification: Wielding a gun increases the bias to see guns. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance, 38, 1159-1167.

Witt, J. K. (2011).  Action’s effect on perception. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 20, 201-206.

Witt, J. K., & Proffitt, D. R. (2005).  See the ball, hit the ball: Apparent ball size is correlated with batting average.  Psychological Science, 16, 937-938.

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