Memory Lab








Current Research

Lab Members


ROC Stats




Current Research

Our research seeks to understand basic processes in recognition memory and reasoning, using methods rooted in signal detection theory and neuroscience (EEG). We view computational models as essential tools for interpreting data.

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Lab Members

Principal Investigator

  Caren Rotello


Lab Manager

Colin Quirk.  He's now off to graduate school at the University of Chicago -- good luck!

Current Students 

If you are interested in joining us, please email me (caren at I am seeking a new graduate student.

Tina Chen joined the lab in the Fall of 2011.  She's working on her dissertation, on individual differences in response bias.

Current RAs:



Alumni and past lab members:

Neil Macmillan now plays his violin on the coast of Maine. You can reach him at neil dot alex dot macmillan at gmail dot com. 

Angela Pazzaglia, Ph.D., is now Senior Economist at Bates White Economic Consulting.





Chad Dube, Ph.D., is now an Assistant Professor at University of South Florida.

  Aycan Kapucu, Ph.D., is now an Assistant Professor at Ege University (Turkey).

Mungchen (Will) Wong, Ph.D., is now Associate Director of Data Analytics at WebMD.

Min Zeng, MS, now a manager at Nielson.

 Davide Bruno, Ph.D., now a Lecturer at Liverpool John Moores University.

Ruthanna Gordon, Ph.D., now an Associate at Booz Allen Hamilton.

   John Reeder, Ph.D., now Associate Professor and Department Chair at Simmons College

Michael Verde, Ph.D., now Lecturer at University of Plymouth

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in press

Rotello, C. M. (in press).  Signal detection theories of recognition memory.  To appear in J. T. Wixted (Ed.), Learning and Memory: A Comprehensive Reference, 2nd edition (Vol. 4: Cognitive Psychology of Memory).  Elsevier.


Rotello, C. M., & Chen, T. (2016).  ROC curve analyses of eyewitness identification decisions: An analysis of the recent debate. Cognitive Research: Principles and Implications. DOI 10.1186/s41235-016-0006-7.  Published version:

Chen, T., Rotello, C. M., & Verhaeghen, P. (2016). A state-trace meta-analysis of the age-related associative memory deficit. In D. Bruno (Ed.), The Preservation of Memory (pp. 56-77). Routledge: New York.


Rotello, C. M., Heit, E., & Dubé, C. (2015).  When more data steer us wrong:  Replications with the wrong dependent measure perpetuate erroneous conclusions.  Psychonomic Bulletin & Review, 22, 944-954. DOI 10.3758/s13423-014-0759-2  Published Version:

Chen, T., Starns, J. J., & Rotello, C. M. (2015).  A violation of the conditional independence assumption of discrete state models of recognition memory. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, & Cognition, 41, 1215-1222. doi: 10.1037/xlm0000077

​Corrected: Chen, T., Starns, J. J., & Rotello, C. M. (2016).  A violation of the conditional independence assumption of discrete state models of recognition memory (vol 41, pg 1215, 2015). Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, & Cognition, 42, 167-167.   

Rana, S., Mout, R., Le, N. D. B., Saha, K., Tonga, G. Y, Bain, R. E. S., Miranda, O. R., Rotello, C. M., & Rotello, V. M. (2015).  Rapid cell-based drug profiling using a multichannel nanoparticle-fluorescent protein sensor.    Nature Nanotechnology, 10, 25-69. doi: 10.1038/nnano.2014.285 [My contribution was statistical.]


Cohen, A. L., Rotello, C. M., & Fiorenzo, L. M. (2014).  Memory for license plates. Psychology, Public Policy, and Law, 20, 347-360.

Rotello, C. M., & Heit, E. (2014). The neural correlates of belief bias:  activation in inferior frontal cortex reflects response rate differences.  Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, 8. doi: 10.3389/fnhum.2014.00862

Pazzaglia, A. M., Staub, A., & Rotello, C. M. (2014).  Encoding time and the mirror effect in recognition memory: Evidence from eyetracking.  Journal of Memory & Language, 75, 77-92.  

Starns, J. J., Rotello, C. M., & Hautus, M. J. (2014).  Recognition memory zROC slopes for items with correct versus incorrect source decisions discriminate the dual process and unequal variance signal detection models.  Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, & Cognition, 40, 1205-1225.

Hayes, B. K., Heit, E., & Rotello, C. M. (2014).  Memory, reasoning and categorization:  Parallels and common mechanisms.  Frontiers in Psychology5:529. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2014.00529

White, C. N., Kapucu, A., Bruno, D., Rotello, C. M., & Ratcliff, R. (2014).  Response bias for emotional words in immediate recognition memory is due to relatedness rather than emotional valence.  Cognition & Emotion, 28, 867-880. DOI: 10.1080/02699931.2013.858028

Heit, E., & Rotello, C. M. (2014). Traditional difference-score analyses of reasoning are flawed. Cognition, 131, 75-91.


Dube, C., Rotello, C. M., & Pazzaglia, A. M. (2013).  The statistical accuracy and theoretical status of discrete-state MPT models: Reply to Batchelder and Alexander (2013).  Psychological Bulletin, 139, 1213-1220. 

Dube, C., Payne, L., Sekuler, R., & Rotello, C. M. (2013).  Paying attention to attention in recognition memory: Insights from models and electrophysiology. Psychological Science, 24, 2398-2408.

Pazzaglia, A. M., Dube, C., & Rotello, C. M. (2013).  A critical comparison of discrete-state and continuous models of recognition memory:  Implications for recognition and beyond.  Psychological Bulletin, 139, 1173-1203. 

Starns, J. J., Pazzaglia, A. M., Rotello, C. M., Hautus, M. J., & Macmillan, N. A. (2013).  Unequal-strength source zROC slopes reflect criteria placement and not (necessarily) memory processes. Journal of Experimental Psychology:  Learning, Memory, and Cognition, 39, 1377-1392 


Dube, C., Starns, J. J., Rotello, C. M., & Ratcliff, R. (2012).  Beyond ROC curvature: Strength effects and response time data support continuous-evidence models of recognition memory.  Journal of Memory & Language, 67, 389-406.

Heit, E., & Rotello, C. M. (2012). The pervasive effects of argument length on inductive reasoning. Thinking & Reasoning (Special issue on Reasoning and Argumentation), 18, 244-277.

Heit, E., Rotello, C. M., & Hayes, B. K. (2012).  Relations between memory and reasoning.  In  B. Ross (Ed.), Psychology of Learning and Motivation, Vol. 52 (pp. 57-101). Amsterdam: Elsevier.

Starns, J. J., Rotello, C. M., Ratcliff, R. (2012).  Mixing strong and weak targets provides no evidence against the unequal-variance explanation of zROC slopes: A comment on Koen & Yonelinas (2010). Journal of Experimental Psychology:  Learning, Memory, and Cognition, 38, 793-801.

Dube, C., & Rotello, C. M. (2012).  Binary ROCs in perception and recognition memory are curved.  Journal of Experimental Psychology:  Learning, Memory, and Cognition, 38, 130-151.


Dube, C., Rotello, C. M., & Heit, E. (2011).  The belief bias effect is aptly named: A reply to Klauer and Kellen (2011).  Psychological Review, 118, 155-163.


Dube, C., Rotello, C. M., & Heit, E.  (2010).  Assessing the belief bias effect with ROCs: It’s a response bias effect. Psychological Review, 117, 831-863.

Kapucu, A., Macmillan, N. A., & Rotello, C. M. (2010).  Positive and negative remember judgments and ROCs in the plurals paradigm:  Evidence for alternative decision strategies.  Memory & Cognition, 38, 541-554PMCID2887610

Heit, E., & Rotello, C. M. (2010).  Relations between inductive reasoning and deductive reasoning.  Journal of Experimental Psychology:  Learning, Memory, and Cognition, 36, 805-812.

Wong, M., & Rotello, C. M. (2010).  Conjunction errors and semantic transparency.  Memory & Cognition, 38, 47-56PMC2905215


Rotello, C.M., & Heit, E. (2009). Modeling the effects of argument length and validity on inductive and deductive reasoning.  Journal of Experimental Psychology:  Learning, Memory, and Cognition, 35, 1317-1330.

Masson, M. E. J., & Rotello, C. M.  (2009).  Sources of bias in the Goodman-Kruskal gamma coefficient measure of association:  Implications for studies of metacognitive processes. Journal of Experimental Psychology:  Learning, Memory, and Cognition, 35, 509-527.

Evans, K., Rotello, C. M., Li, X., & Rayner, K. (2009).  Scene perception and memory revealed by eye movements and ROC analyses: Does a cultural difference truly exist?  Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology, 62, 276-285[PMCID: PMC2668147]


Heit, E., & Rotello, C. M. (2008).  Modeling two kinds of reasoning.  Proceedings of the Thirtieth Annual Meeting of the Cognitive Science Society, 1831-1836. Austin, TX: Cognitive Science Society. 

Hautus, M., Macmillan, N. A., & Rotello, C. M. (2008).  Toward a complete decision model of item and source recognition.  Psychonomic Bulletin & Review, 15, 889-905.

Cohen, A. L., Rotello, C. M., & Macmillan, N. A. (2008).  Evaluating models of remember-know judgments:  Complexity, mimicry, and discriminability.  Psychonomic Bulletin & Review, 15, 906-926.

Kapucu, A., Rotello, C. M., Ready, R. E., & Seidl, K. N. (2008).  Response bias in ‘remembering’ emotional stimuli:  A new perspective on age differences.  Journal of Experimental Psychology:  Learning, Memory, & Cognition, 34, 703-711.

Rotello, C. M., & Zeng, M. (2008).  Analysis of RT distributions in the remember-know paradigm.  Psychonomic Bulletin & Review, 15, 825-832.

Rotello,  C. M., Masson, M. E. J., & Verde, M. F. (2008).  Type I error rates and power analyses for single-point sensitivity measures. Perception & Psychophysics, 70, 389-401.

Rayner, K., Miller, B., & Rotello, C. M. (2008).  Eye movements when looking at print advertisements: The goal of the viewer matters.  Applied Cognitive Psychology22, 697-707.

Cave, K. R., Cohen, A. L., Rotello, C. M., McCaffrey, A, Ross, M. G., Zeng, M., Zivot, M., Li, X., & Chang, K. (2008). Using eye movements to understand complex visual comparisonsIn K. Rayner, D. Shen, X. Bai, & G. Yan (Eds.), Cognitive and Cultural Influences on Eye Movements (pp. 141-156), Tianjin People's Press/Psychology Press.

Rotello, C. M., & Macmillan, N. A. (2008).  Response bias in recognition memory. In A. S. Benjamin & B. H. Ross (Eds.), The Psychology of Learning and Motivation: Skill and Strategy in Memory Use, Vol. 48 (pp. 61-94). London: Academic Press.


Dougal, S., & Rotello, C. M. (2007).  “Remembering” emotional words is based on response bias, not recollection.  Psychonomic Bulletin & Review, 14, 423-429.

Verde, M. F., & Rotello, C. M. (2007).  Memory strength and the decision process in recognition memory. Memory & Cognition, 35, 254-262.


Rotello, C. M., Macmillan, N. A., Hicks, J. L., & Hautus, M. (2006).  Interpreting the effects of response bias on remember-know judgments using signal-detection and threshold models. Memory & Cognition, 34, 1598-1614.

Rotello, C. M., & Macmillan, N. A. (2006).  Remember-know models as decision strategies in two experimental paradigms.  Journal of Memory & Language,55, 479-494.

Verde, M. F., Macmillan, N. A., & Rotello, C. M. (2006).  Measures of sensitivity based on a single hit rate and false-alarm rate:  The accuracy, precision, and robustness of d'Az, and A'.  Perception & Psychophysics, 68, 643-654.

Macmillan, N. A., & Rotello, C. M. (2006).  Deciding about decision models of remember and know judgments:  A reply to Murdock.  Psychological Review,113, 657-665.


Heit, E., & Rotello, C. M. (2005).  Are there two kinds of reasoning?  Proceedings of the Twenty-five Annual Meeting of the Cognitive Science Society, 923-928. Mahwah, NJ:  Erlbaum.

Rotello, C. M., Macmillan, N. A., Reeder, J. A., & Wong, M. (2005). The remember response:  Subject to bias, graded, and not a process-pure indicator of recollection. Psychonomic Bulletin & Review, 12, 865-873.

Macmillan, N. A., Rotello, C. M., & Verde, M. F. (2005). On the importance of models in interpreting remember-know experiments: Comments on Gardiner et al.’s (2002) meta-analysis.  Memory, 13, 607-621.


Verde, M. F., & Rotello, C. M. (2004).  Strong memories obscure weak memories in associative recognition. Psychonomic Bulletin & Review, 11, 1062-1066.

Macmillan, N. A., Rotello, C. M., Miller, J. O. (2004).  The sampling distributions of Gaussian ROC statistics.  Perception & Psychophysics, 66, 406–421.

Rotello, C. M., Macmillan, N. A., & Reeder, J. A. (2004).  Sum-Difference Theory of Remembering and Knowing:  A Two-Dimensional Signal Detection Model.  Psychological Review, 111, 588–616.

Verde, M. F., & Rotello, C. M. (2004).  ROC curves show that the revelation effect is not a single phenomenon.  Psychonomic Bulletin & Review, 11, 560-566.


Verde, M. F., & Rotello, C. M. (2003).  Does familiarity change in the revelation effect? Journal of Experimental Psychology:  Learning, Memory, and Cognition, 29, 739-746.


Pollatsek, A., & Rotello, C. M. (2002).  Attention, perception, and memory.  Encyclopedia of Life Support Systems (EOLSS). Oxford, U.K. []


Rayner, K., Rotello, C. M., Stewart, A. J., Keir, J., & Duffy, S. A. (2001).  Integrating text and pictorial information:  Eye movements when looking at print advertisements.  Journal of Experimental Psychology:  Applied, 7, 219-226.

2000 and earlier

Rotello, C. M. (2000).  Recall processes in recognition memory.  In D. L. Medin (Ed.), The Psychology of Learning and Motivation, Vol. 40 (pp. 183-221).  San Diego, CA:   Academic Press.

Rotello, C. M., & Heit, E. (2000).  Associative recognition:  A case of recall-to-reject processing. Memory and Cognition28, 907-922.

Rotello, C. M., Macmillan, N. A., & Van Tassel, G. (2000). Recall-to-reject in recognition:  Evidence from ROC curves. Journal of Memory and Language, 43, 67-88.

Stern, E. R., & Rotello, C. M. (2000).  Memory characteristics of recently imagined events and real events experienced previously.  American Journal of Psychology, 113, 569-590.

Dougal, S., & Rotello, C. M. (1999).  Context effects in recognition.  American Journal of Psychology, 112, 277-295. 

Rotello, C. M. (1999).  Metacognition and memory for nonoccurrence.  Memory, 7, 43-63.

Rotello, C. M., & Heit, E. (1999).  Two-process models of recognition memory:  Evidence for Recall-to-reject? Journal of Memory and Language, 40, 432-453.

Catrambone, R., Jones, C. M., Jonides, J., & Seifert, C. (1995).  Reasoning about curvilinear motion:  Using principles or analogy.  Memory & Cognition, 23, 368-373.

Jones, C. M. (1994).  Construction of a mental model.  In R. F. Lorch, Jr., & E. J. O'Brien (Eds.), Sources of Coherence in Reading, (pp. 335-352).  Hillsdale, NJ:  Erlbaum.

Jones, C. M., & Heit, E. (1993).  An evaluation of the total similarity principle:  Effects of similarity on frequency judgments.  Journal of Experimental Psychology:  Learning, Memory, and Cognition19, 799-812.

Jonides, J., & Jones, C. M. (1992).  Direct coding for frequency of occurrence.  Journal of Experimental Psychology:  Learning, Memory, and Cognition18, 368-378.

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ROC Stats

Sampling distributions of ROC statistics (Macmillan, Rotello, & Miller, 2004, Perception & Psychophysics)

Single-point sensitivity estimates (d', A', H-F, percent correct, etc):

statistical properties: standard errors and bias in the estimate(Verde, Macmillan, & Rotello, 2006, Perception & Psychophysics)

problems comparing the estimates over conditions that differ in response bias (Rotello, Masson, & Verde, 2008, Perception & Psychophysics)

How to fit a confidence-based ROC with SDT (spreadsheet described by Pazzaglia, Dube, & Rotello, 2013): Download the .zip file to the right.  It contains an Excel sheet with complete instructions.

Source ROC fits (Hautus, Macmillan, & Rotello, 2008, Psychonomic Bulletin & Review)

Gaussian Distributions, Type I error

Gaussian, Power

Rectangular distribution, power

Rectangular distributions, Type I error


Supporting documents for Dube, Rotello, and Heit (2011, Psychological Review)

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