Marcia K. Johnson, newly designated as a Sterling Professor of Psychology, specializes in the study of human memory.
Appointment to a Sterling Professorship is one of the highest honors for Yale faculty members.
Her laboratory explores the processes of reflection and consciousness, mechanisms of veridical and distorted memory, memory disorders (such as those resulting from amnesia, frontal brain damage and aging), and the relation between emotion and cognition. She uses cognitive/behavioral and neuroimaging techniques to investigate such questions as how individual features of experiences (such as color, shape, location and emotion) are bound together to create complex memories, and how memory representations of perception and thought (imagination, dreams, fantasies) are alike and different. She also investigates age-related changes in memory, among other subjects.
The author or co-author of hundreds of articles and many book chapters, Johnson is the co-author of four books: "Statistics: Tool of the Behavioral Sciences," "How To Succeed in College," "Basic and Applied Memory Research: Theory in Context" and "Basic and Applied Memory Research: Practical Applications."
Johnson earned her B.A. and Ph.D. degrees at the University of California-Berkeley. She taught at the State University of New York-Stony Brook and Princeton University before joining the Yale faculty in 2000. A member of the Interdepartmental Neuroscience Program, she was appointed the Charles C. & Dorathea S. Dilley Professor of Psychology in 2004.
Johnson has received numerous honors for her teaching and research, including the American Psychological Association's Distinguished Scientific Contribution Award and its Division 20 Master Mentor Award, the Association for Psychological Science's William James Fallow Award, a Yale University Graduate School Mentorship Award and a John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship. Her work has been supported by grants from the National Institute on Aging, the National Institute of Health, the National Science Foundation, the Alzheimer's Association and Pew Charitable Trusts, among others.
An associate editor of Social Cognition, Johnson has served on the editorial boards of many professional publications, among them the Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, the Journal of Experimental Psychology, the American Journal of Psychology, Neuropsychology, and Social, Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience.