Mark McDaniel

Professor of Psychology

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Mark McDaniel is the principal investigator in the Memory and Complex Learning Laboratory. He has two main research interests: prospective memory and education. Prospective memory refers to remembering to perform intended actions in the future such as remembering to take your medication or to turn off your cell phone before you enter a lecture. Another line of research in this lab is applying cognition to education.

WashU in the News


Quizzes key to learning for middle school students

Practice may not always make perfect, but a novel study of Midwestern middle school science students suggests it just might. New research from Washington University in St. Louis shows that students who received three quizzes on content questions before a unit test performed at the “A” level on those test questions, compared with a “C” level on questions that were not quizzed beforehand but still on the test.

Memory links to 40 winks

When it comes to executing items on tomorrow’s to-do list, it’s best to think it over, then “sleep on it,” say psychologists at Washington University in St. Louis. The researchers have shown that sleep enhances our ability to remember to do something in the future, a skill known as prospective memory.

A silly pat on the head helps seniors remember daily med, study suggests

Photo by Janet GumpertRemembering to take daily medications can be a challenge, but new research offers tips for strengthening those memories.Doing something unusual, like knocking on wood or patting yourself on the head, while taking a daily dose of medicine may be an effective strategy to help seniors remember whether they’ve already taken their daily medications, suggests new research from Washington University in St. Louis.