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Department of Psychological Sciences

Heather Bailey, Ph.D.

Heather Bailey

Contact Information

Office: BH 414

E-mail: hbailey@ksu.edu

Vita (pdf)

Google Scholar Profile

Memory & Aging Laboratory

Center for Cognitive and Neurobiological Approaches to Plasticity (CNAP)


Research Interests

I received my MS in Experimental Psychology from Wake Forest University in 2005 and my PhD in Cognitive Psychology at Kent State University in 2009. After graduate school, I spent 4 years as a postdoctoral fellow at Washington University St. Louis, and I joined the Department of Psychological Sciences at Kansas State University in 2013.

At the highest level, I am interested in memory systems and how they change with age. My three main lines of research are related to individual differences and age-related differences in working memory. The first line involves evaluating the efficacy of different strategies that people use to help improve their memory. For instance, when memorizing a grocery list, why do some people recite the list repeatedly and others organize the items according to the layout of the grocery store (i.e., produce, meat, dairy)? And when do certain strategies benefit us the most? The second line of work involves how individuals effectively segment, or chunk, incoming information and how they update their working memory representations accordingly. Findings have shown that an individual’s ability to segment information at encoding predicts how well they are able to remember it at a later time. Finally the third line of work involves how older adults use their existing knowledge to help them remember information about everyday activities.

This third line of research is funded as a part of a recent NIH award. This award was funded to establish a new COBRE research center on Cognitive and Neurobiological Approaches to Plasticity (C-NAP). For more information on this center, visit:  www.k-state/cnap/

Specifically, my lab's C-NAP project evaluates whether older adults use their knowledge about familiar events to help them encode and retrieve information about novel events?  In conducting this research, we combine experimental and neuroscience techniques including behavioral and psychometric testing, eye-tracking and neuroimaging (fMRI). 

Student Involvement

Graduate students who are interested in working with me can either get involved with one of my ongoing research projects or propose their own topic of research, depending on their level of experience and motivation. Graduate students will also gain valuable experience in statistical analyses, various forms of methodology, professional development and supervising undergraduate research assistants in the lab. Graduate students also have the opportunity to complete a teaching apprenticeship, a program that is unique to Kansas State. Support for graduate students comes from grant money when available, or departmental graduate teaching assistantships. Students who contribute significantly to our research will have ample opportunity to co-author publications and conference presentations. Graduate students in our department also have the unique opportunity to benefit from the C-NAP (center on plasticity) in terms of data management, analysis and visualization; skills training (e.g., EEG, eye-tracking, MATlab programming); potential funding for pilot projects; mini-conferences and brownbags; collaborative work; and much more.

As an undergraduate research assistant, you would learn about all aspects of experimental design and data collection. This includes devising and refining research questions, programming experiments, collecting data with young and/or older adults, learning statistics to analyze data, and presenting your work in the department, across campus, and at regional conferences. Getting involved in each step of the research process provides great experience when applying for graduate school and it also gives you insight into the life of a graduate student. Undergraduate students who are interested in working in my lab can apply to be a PSYCH 599 research assistant. Those interested in working with me as a graduate student can contact me via email hbailey@ksu.edu.

Recent Grant Funding

National Institute of Health: "The role of prior knowledge and event segmentation in age- and Alzheimer's-related changes in event memory" R01, $2,060,857.00, 2022-2027.

National Institute of Health: “Situation model updating in young and older adults” (PI), $170,128, 2011-2014.

Wichita State University and Kansas State University, COBRE project development grant: “Transfer effects of perceptual learning on driving-related cognitive tasks”, $12,100, 2013.

Kansas State University, University Small Research Grant, “Plasticity in Aging and Memory for Everyday Events”, $4000, 2014.

Selected Publications

    Graduate students in italics, undergraduate or post-baccalaureate students denoted with *

Pitts, B. L., Eisenberg, M. L., Bailey, H. R., & Zacks, J. M. (2023). Cueing natural event boundaries improves memory in people with post-traumatic stress disorder. Cognitive Research: Principles and Implications, 8(26). https://doi.org/10.1186/s41235-023-00478-x{pdf}

Smith, M. E., Loschky, L. C., & Bailey, H. R. (2023). Eye movements and event segmentation: Eye movements reveal age-related differences in even model updating. Psychology and Aging. {pdf}

Smith, M. E., Kurby, C. A., & Bailey, H. R. (2023). Events shape long-term memory for story information. Discourse Processes, 60(2), 141-161. https://doi.org/10.1080/0163853X.2023.2185408{pdf}

Pitts, B. L. Eisenberg, M. L., Bailey, H. R., & Zacks, J. M. (2022). PTSD is associated with impaired event processing and memory for everyday events. Cognitive Research: Principles and Implications, 7(1). https://doi.org/10.1186/s41235-022-00386-6  {pdf}

Pitts, B. L., Smith, M. E., Newberry, K. M., & Bailey, H. R. (2022). Semantic knowledge attenuates age-related differences in event segmentation and episodic memory. Memory & Cognition, 50(3), 586-560. https://doi.org/10.3758/s13421-021-01220-y {pdf}

Smith, M. E., Loschky, L. C., & Bailey, H. R. (2021). Knowledge guides attention to goal-relevent information in older adults. Cognitive Research: Principles and Implications, 6(1), 1-22. https://doi.org/10.1186/s41235-021-00321-1 {pdf}

Kenney, K. L., & Bailey, H. (2021). Low-stakes quizzes improve learning and reduce overconfidence in college students. Journal of the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning, 21(2), 79-92. https://doi.org/10.14434/josotl.v21i2.28650 {pdf}

Peterson, J. J., Rogers, J. S.*, & Bailey, H. R. (2021). Memory for dynamic events when event boundaries are accentuated with emotional stimuli. Collabra: Psychology, 7(11). https://doi.org/10.1525/collabra.24451 {pdf}

Newberry, K. M., Feller, D. P., & Bailey, H. R. (2021). Influences of domain knowledge on segmentation and memory. Memory & Cognition, 49(4), 660-674. https://doi.org/10.3758/s134321-020-011118-1 {pdf}

Smith, M. E., Newberry, K. M., Bailey, H. R. (2020). Differential effects of knowledge and aging on the encoding and retreival of everyday activities. Cognition, 196. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cognition.2019.104159  {pdf}

Crawford, L. M.*, & Bailey, H. R. (2020). Testing the relationship between fitness and cognition.Journal of Psychological Inquiry, 24(2), 5-10. [pdf]

Newberry, K. M., & Bailey, H. (2019). Does semantic knowledge influence event segmentation and recall of text? Memory & Cognition, 47(6), 1173-1187. {pdf}

McGatlin, K. C.*, Newberry, K. M., & Bailey, H. (2019). Temporal chunking makes life’s events more memorable. Open Psychology, 1, 94-105.{pdf}

Bui, J., Pyc, M. A., & Bailey, H. (2018). When people’s judgments of learning (JOLs) are extremely accurate at predicting subsequent recall: The “Displaced-JOL Effect”. Memory, 26, 771-783. {pdf}

To see older publications, please visit the lab website