Hometown: Queens, NY
Academic Department: Psychology PhD
Academic Advisor: Suparna Rajaram
Memory hints can be deceitful. Every day, people use information in their environment as hints or cues to help them recall information. For example, K-12 students work in groups (a social source) as well as use technology (a non-social source) to improve recall. It is intuitive to assume that cues always benefit recall, but cues also disrupt the organization of information, harming recall. Peña’s research plan aims to assess the disruptive influences of social and non-social cues on recall and memory deficits. While ample research shows that cues have a complex relationship with human memory, people continue to believe that cues help more than hurt memory. Her proposal provides a precise test of these beliefs. The extent to which social and non-social cues help or hurt memory across the lifespan has wide implications for education and in aging to help improve cognitive performance.
Peña has also received a SMEP Underrepresented Student Workshop Travel Award, GSO Professional Development Fund.