Dr. Margaret O'Connor
conducts neuropsychological research investigating information processing
in amnesia and dementia. She has authored and co-authored numerous
scientific articles and book chapters describing the nature of the memory
deficits seen in patients with memory loss secondary to infectious
processes, cerebral vascular accidents, anterior communicating artery
aneurysms, anoxic encephalopathy, epilepsy, closed head injury and
dementia. Her studies on anterograde amnesia have focused on implicit
memory, time perception, emotional priming and consolidation of new
memories. Her work on retrograde amnesia has focused on recollection of
personal and public events from remote memory. Dr. O'Connor has developed a
test of remote memory named the Transient Events Test in order to
investigate the course of forgetting over decade-long intervals of time.
She has also published a number of articles focused on the neural
substrates of amnesia, confabulation, and implicit memory.
Dr. O'Connor's more recent work has focused on electrophysiological studies
of learning and forgetting. Patients with amnesia, memory deficits within
the context of epilepsy (with depth-electrode recordings) and normal
control subjects will be investigated in order to explore whether
electrophysiological markers (e.g., event-related potentials and galvanic
skin response) provide informative data regarding the psychological
processes and brain systems that contribute to new learning and
consolidation of memories.