I am an assistant professor in the Psychology Department at University of Arizona and a member of the clinical program. My background is in clinical neuropsychology and cognitive neuroscience. At University of Arizona, I direct the Human Memory Lab and neuropsychology training for our PhD clinical psychology program.
My research is broadly focused on the clinical and cognitive neuroscience of memory. A particular interest of mine is autobiographical memory, which is memory for real world, personal events. Autobiographical memory can be used to facilitate a wide range of psychological functions, including decision making, planning for the future, connecting socially with others, and creating a sense of self that is continuous across time and space. It is thought that autobiographical memory is adaptively applied in such diverse contexts, because memories of life experiences are not stored as immutable mental representations but rather reflect autobiographical contents that can be flexibly retrieved and bound together to reconstruct past experiences and simulate new ones. However, these same features mean that autobiographical memories are vulnerable to forgetting and distortions. Such errors are particularly evident in the context of normal and abnormal brain aging, as well as in individuals with neurologic conditions (e.g., stroke, tumors, encephalitis, traumatic brain injury) and mental health disorders (e.g., depression). Given the directive, social, and self-related functions of autobiographical memory, and the potential consequences of disruption to this type of memory, it is important to understand how the brain stores and retrieves such memories.