Sample publications by topic area
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A component process analysis of memory and cognition
What are the basic “processing units” of cognition and memory? How are these component processes organized into subsystems and combined within and across subsystems? How are they instantiated in brain activity?
Johnson, M.K., & Hirst, W. (1993). MEM: Memory subsystems as processes. In A.F. Collins, S.E. Gathercole, M.A. Conway, & P.E. Morris (Eds.), Theories of Memory (pp. 241-286). East Sussex, England: Erlbaum.
Johnson, M.K., Raye, C.L., Mitchell, K.J., Greene, E.J., Cunningham, W.A., & Sanislow, C.A. (2005). Using fMRI to investigate a component process of reflection: Prefrontal correlates of refreshing a just-activated representation. Cognitive, Affective, & Behavioral Neuroscience, 5, 339-361.
Johnson, M.R., & Johnson, M.K. (2009). Top-down enhancement and suppression of activity in category-selective extrastriate cortex from an act of reflective attention. Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, 21, 2320–2327.
Chun, M.M. & Johnson, M.K. (2011). Memory: Enduring traces of perceptual and reflective attention. Neuron, 72, 520-535. doi:10.1016/j.neuron.2011.10.026
Johnson, M. R., & Johnson, M. K. (2014). Decoding individual natural scene representations during perception and imagery. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, 8, 59. doi:10.3389/fnhum.2014.00059
Reality monitoring/source monitoring
How are individual features of experience (e.g., color, shape, location) bound together to create complex memories? How are the phenomenal representations of perception and thought (imagination, dreams, fantasies) alike and how are they different? How are they discriminated, and why are they sometimes confused? More generally, what is the relation between our attributions about the sources of memories, knowledge, and beliefs, and their actual origins?
Johnson, M.K., Raye, C.L., Mitchell, K.J., & Ankudowich, E. (2011). The cognitive neuroscience of true and false memories. In Belli, R.F. (Ed.), True and false recovered memories: Toward a reconciliation of the debate. Vol. 58: Nebraska Symposium on Motivation (pp. 15-52). New York: Springer. doi:10.1007/978-1-4614-1195-6_2
Sugimori, E., Mitchell, K.J., Raye, C.L., Greene, E.J., & Johnson, M.K. (2014). Brain mechanisms underlying reality monitoring for heard and imagined words. Psychological Science, 25, 403-413. doi:10.1177/0956797613505776
The relation between emotion and cognition
How does emotion influence attention and memory and vice/versa? What is the role of emotion in memory distortions? What is the difference between emotion as a feature of memory vs. as an instigator of component processes of cognition?
Mather, M., Mitchell, K.J., Raye, C.L., Novak, D.L., Greene, E.J., & Johnson, M.K. (2006). Emotional arousal can impair feature binding in working memory. Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, 18, 614-625.
Cunningham, W.A., Raye, C.L., & Johnson, M.K. (2004). Implicit and explicit evaluation: fMRI correlates of valence, emotional intensity, and control in the processing of attitudes. Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, 16, 1717-1729.
The “self” in cognition
Who is doing the perceiving and reflecting? How is the self represented, extended and reflected upon? How do we go about differentiating the self as the experiencer, the originator (agent), and a target (feature) of memories?
Johnson, M.K., Raye, C.L., Mitchell, K.J., Touryan, S.R., Greene, E.J., & Nolen-Hoeksema, S. (2006). Dissociating medial frontal and posterior cingulate activity during self-reflection. Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience, 1, 56-64.
Kim, K. & Johnson, M.K. (2010). Extended self: Medial prefrontal activity during transient association of self and objects. Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience, 7, 199-207. doi:10.1093/scan/nsq096
Kim, K., & Johnson, M.K. (2013). Extended self: Spontaneous activation of medial prefrontal cortex by objects that are “mine.” Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience. Published online 20 May 2013. doi:10.1093/scan/nst082
Changes in cognition associated with aging
Research into the questions above has provided frameworks and hypotheses for investigating changes in cognition associated with aging, and studying such changes can, in turn, challenge and refine our understanding of cognition and memory.
Henkel, L.A., Johnson, M.K., and De Leonardis, D.M. (1998). Aging and source monitoring: cognitive processes and neuropsychological correlates. Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, 127, 251-268.
Mitchell, K.J., Johnson, M.R., Higgins, J.A., & Johnson, M.K. (2010). Age differences in brain activity during perceptual vs reflective attention. NeuroReport, 21, 293-297. doi:10.1097/WNR.0b013e32833730d6
Ebner, N.C., Johnson, M.R., Rieckmann, A., Durbin, K.A., Johnson, M.K., & Fischer, H. (2013). Processing own-age vs. other-age faces: Neuro-behavioral correlates and effects of emotion. NeuroImage, 78, 363-371. doi:10.1016/j.neuroimage.2013.04.029
Mitchell, K.J., Ankudowich, E., Durbin, K.A., Greene, E.J., & Johnson, M.K. (2013). Age-related differences in agenda-driven monitoring of format and task information. Neuropsychologia, 51, 2427-2441. doi:10.1016/j.neuropsychologia.2013.01.012