Welcome to the Metacognition and Memory Lab at Columbia University  
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Metacognition refers to knowledge about our own thoughts and feelings, as well as the cognitive regulation involved in directing a set of activities that will help control learning. Our lab focuses on how people use their metacognition to improve self-awareness and to guide their own learning and behavior.

The experiments conducted in the lab are computer-based cognition, memory, learning, or agency tests designed to empirically study people's abilities to make judgments of their own cognition. Broadly speaking, our lab is focused on exploring a theoretical perspective that proposes people are capable of honing in on their own 'Region of Proximal Learning', and also on the metacognition of agency and feelings of control.

We currently have three ongoing streams of research:

  1. These experiments look at whether we can apply proven cognitive psychological methods, namely, a learning from errors approach, to improve math performance on the Grade 8 Regent's Exam.
  2. The metacognition of agency. This stream of research investigates how we know we are in control of our own actions in the world and our feelings of being in control. More specifically, this might involve looking at whether people prefer to be in control, even at the cost of performance or reward.
  3. Mind wandering and learning. Finally, we are also interested in investigating the conditions under which a person mind wanders and how we might be able to reduce a person's mind wandering to boost learning and memory.


September 2017: A new academic year

Our lab launched into the new year with Matti presenting his R within-subject mediation package at the European Society for Cognitive Psychology (ESCoP) conference in Postdam, Germany! You can find the PDF here.

May 2017: Honors Presentations

A big hand for fabulous Honors talks from two of our own this year: Paul Bloom and Irma Alineri. You guys did amazing and will be dearly missed!

Paul's talk involved the use of ERPs to study tip-of-the-tongue states and Irma's presentation was on metacognition in epileptic patients.

From left to right: Irma Alineri, Janet Metcalfe (PI), Paul Bloom

Note: Paul will be entering Columbia's Psychology PhD program and Irma has been accepted into medical school. Once again, congratulations both of you!

Click here for more archived lab news!

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