Pernille Hemmer

You can view my CV here

My research interests span a broad set of areas in cognitive science. While my work has been focused on episodic and semantic memory, the overarching theme of my research is decision making in naturalistic environments. Specifically, I focus on complex environments in which people make real world decisions about situations where prior knowledge of the environment can be brought to bear.

Many aspects of our experiences do not have to be explicitly remembered, but can be inferred based on our knowledge of the regularities in our environment. Suppose, for example, you recall a recent visit to a coffee shop. You might not only utilize the episodic information related to that specific coffee shop visit, but also general knowledge and experiences accumulated over many coffee shop visits. You might infer that you ordered a tall coffee at your last visit, not because you have detailed explicit memories of this event, but because you typically order tall coffees. In this way, many aspects of our experiences do not have to be explicitly remembered, but can be inferred based on our knowledge of the regularities of our environment.

In my research I have worked to explore complex naturalistic stimuli and environments. I used naturalistic stimuli that are representative of real world environments to capitalize on the idea that humans work in concert with their environment. In this way, people appear to use their knowledge about the environment optimally in a broad range of cognitive tasks.

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