memory and language lab
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Jennifer Coane

Lab Director
Assistant Professor

I received my B.A. (2001) and M.S. (2004) degrees in psychology from Illinois State University, and my PhD in Cognitive Psychology at Washington University in Saint Louis in 2008. At Colby I have been teaching in Introduction to Psychology, the course on Cognitive Psychology, an advanced Seminar on Human Memory, and Collaborative Research in Memory.

My research interests lie primarily in the intersecting areas of memory and language. I am interested in how stimuli to which we are exposed and the context in which we experience events determine what information is retrieved and how quickly or efficiently we can retrieve that information. In other words, how does what we experience on a day-to-day basis influence how well we can access what we already know? I am interested in how the vast amount of knowledge we possess is organized in memory and what factors influence how and when we can access specific items.

In the lab, we examine these questions in young adults and in healthy older adults, to understand how cognitive processes change across the lifespan.

Some lines of work I am currently pursuing include an examination of activation in semantic networks influences memory, how idomatic expressions are stored in memory, and how different types of processing can positively or negatively affect later memory.

In my research, I use a variety of tasks and paradigms, ranging from visual word recognition tasks to memory paradigms. I use both verbal materials as well as more complex pictorial stimuli.


Sanchez-Gutierrez, C., & Coane, J. H. (in press). Confusion of suffixes in bilingual contexts: Effect of root and stem substitution. Dialogo de la Lengua.

Maddox, G. B., Balota, D. A., Coane, J. H., & Dunchek, J. M. (2011). The role of forgetting rate in producing a benefit of expanded over equal spaced retrieval in young and older adults. Psychology and Aging, 26, 661-670.

Coane, J. H., Balota, D. A., Dolan, P. O., & Jacoby, L. (2011). Not all sources of familiarity are created equal: The case of word frequency and repetition in recognition memory performance. Memory and Cognition, 39, 791-805. .

Coane, J. H. & Balota, D. A. (2011). Face (and nose) priming for book: The malleability of semantic memory. Experimental Psychology, 58, 62-70.

Coane, J. H., & Balota, D. A. (2010). Repetition priming across distinct contexts: Effects of lexical status, word frequency, and retrieval test. Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology, 63, 2376-2398.

Jacoby, L. L., Wahlheim, C. N., & Coane, J. H. (2010). Test-enhanced learning of natural concepts: Effects on recognition memory, classification, and metacognition. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition, 36, 1441-1451.

Coane, J. H., & Balota, D. A. (2009). Priming the holiday spirit: Persistent activation due to extra- experimental influences. Psychonomic Bulletin and Review, 16, 1124-1128.

Balota, D. A., & Coane, J. H. (2008). Semantic memory. To appear in J. H. Byrne, H. Eichenbaum, R. Menzel, H. L. Roediger III, & D. Sweatt (Eds.), Handbook of learning and memory: A comprehensive reference. Amsterdam: Elsevier.

Coane, J. H., & McBride, D. M. (2006). The role of test structure in creating false memories. Memory & Cognition, 34, 1026–1036.

Coane, J. H., McBride, D. M., Raulerson, B. A. III, & Jordan, J. S. (2007). False memory in a short term memory task. Experimental Psychology, 54, 62–70.

McBride, D. M., Coane, J. H., & Raulerson, B. A. III (2006). An investigation of false memory in perceptual implicit tasks. Acta Psychologica, 123, 240–260.