Research interests

Our current research foci are briefly introduced below. For further research interests, please see our publications.
 

Episodic memory

Episodic memory is the ability to remember past events or episodes. We are interested in the dimensionality of this ability and the underlying processes. Current models of episodic memory postulate the existence of two different processes (e.g., Brainerd et al., 1999; Mandler, 1980; Yonelinas, 1994). Such dual-process models appear necessary because a one-dimensional (or single-process) account of episodic memory data seems to be inadequate. In our research, we attempt to establish the dimensionality of the data, and we compare competing process models.

Brainerd, C. J., Reyna, V. F., & Mojardin, A. H. (1999). Conjoint recognition. Psychological Review, 106, 160–179. doi:10.1037/0033-295X.106.1.160

Mandler, G. (1980). Recognizing: The judgment of previous occurrence. Psychological Review, 87, 252–271. doi:10.1037/0033-295X.87.3.252

Yonelinas, A. P. (1994). Receiver-operating characteristics in recognition memory: Evidence for a dual-process model. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition, 20, 1341–1354. doi:10.1037/0278-7393.20.6.1341

 

Evaluative Conditioning

The evaluation of a neutral stimulus changes when it is paired with another (positive or negative) stimulus. This effect is called evaluative conditioning (EC). We investigate the role of conscious awareness in the generation of this effect: Does EC depend on participants’ awareness of the pairing, or can it occur without conscious awareness?

Hütter, M., Sweldens, S., Stahl, C., Unkelbach, C., & Klauer, K. C. (2012). Dissociating Contingency Awareness and Conditioned Attitudes: Evidence of Contingency-Unaware Evaluative Conditioning. Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, 141, 539-557.

Stahl, C., Unkelbach, C., & Corneille, O. (2009). On the respective contributions of awareness of US valence and US identity in valence acquisition through evaluative conditioning. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 97, 404-420.

 

Implicit Learning

Implicit learning refers to the non-conscious effects of prior information processing on subsequent behaviour (Cleeremans, 2009). While it is generally accepted that both implicit and explicit learning exist, there is ongoing debate what essentially is the difference of implicit (unconscious) versus explicit (conscious) processing, and how these processes could be adequately measured. Starting from a standard implicit learning paradigm, we investigate several behavioural measures of implicit and explicit memory.

Cleeremans, A. (2009). Implicit Learning and Implicit Memory. In W. P. Banks (Ed.), Encyclopedia of Consciousness (Vol. 1, pp. 369-381). Oxford: Elsevier.