brain


Stephen R. Schmidt

Research Program

"The attention which we lend to an experience is proportional to its vivid or interesting character: and it is a notorious fact that what interests us most vividly at the time is, other things equal, what we remember best.  An impression may be so exciting emotionally as almost to leave a scar upon the cerebral tissues . . ."

                          (William James, 1890, p. 670).


 Not all memories are created equal.  Our memories for some very exceptional events seem to stand-out in our minds, and as such they may form the very core of who we are.  For example, you may remember where you were and what you were doing when you first heard about the September 11, 2001 terrorists' attacks.  Do such memories stand-out because they received extra-processing during the experience? Alternatively, perhaps they are simply more accessible during times of recollection?  There is probably some truth to both of these possibilities.  Much of my research has focused on the cognitive dynamics that lead to outstanding memories for exceptional events.


Works in Progress


        Schmidt, S. R., & Qiao, L. (in prep.) A Comparison between Chinese and US Flashbulb Memories.

        Schmidt, C. R., & Schmidt, S. R. (in prep.) Cell Phone Presence Affects Attention but not Long-Term Memory.

        Schmidt, S. R., & Schmidt, C. R. (in prep.) Priority, Not Distinctiveness, Enhanced Free Recall.

Recent Publications

        Schmidt, S. R. & Schmidt, C. R. ( 2016). Revisiting Von Restorff's Early Isolation Effect. Memory & Cognition. DOI 10.3758/s13421-016-0651-6
  
        Stephen R. Schmidt & Constance R. Schmidt (2015). The emotional carryover effect in memory for words. Memory, DOI: 10.1080/09658211.2015.1059859
      
        Schmidt, S. R., & Schmidt, C. R. (2015). Inattentional blindness and the von-Restorff effect. Memory & Cognition. 43, 151-163. doi:10.3758/s13421-014-0459-1       

        Schmidt, S. R.  (2012). Extraordinary Memories for Exceptional Events.  Psychology Press.

        Schmidt, S. R. (2012) Memory for Emotional Words in Sentences: The Importance of Emotional Contrast. Cognition & Emotion, 26, 1015-1035.

Recent Presentations

Schmidt, C. R., & Schmidt, S. R. (2017, May). Memory priority and the early isolation effect: Further support for the importance of attentional resources. Poster prepared for the annual meeting of the Association for Psychological Science, Boston, MA.

Schmidt, C. R., & Schmidt, S. R. (2016, May).  An Important Limitation of the Early Isolation Effect in Memory.  Poster presented at the annual convention of the Association for Psychological Science, Chicago, IL.

Schmidt, C. R., & Schmidt, S. R. (2015, May). The Importance of Attention in the Early Isolation Effect. Paper presented at the Annual Meeting, Midwestern Psychology Association, Chicago, IL.

Schmidt, C. R., & Schmidt, S. R. (2014, May).  The Comparison is Crucial: The Impact of Attention and Retrieval on the Isolation Effect.  Poster presented at the annual convention of the Association for Psychological Science, San Francisco, CA.

Schmidt, S. R., Schmidt, C. R. (2013, May). Task Demands Determine Whether Inattentional Blindness or the von-Restorff Effect is Observed. Paper to be presented at the meeting of the annual convention of the Association for Psychological Science, Washington, DC.

Schmidt, S. R. (2011, November). Intention To Learn And The Emotional-Carryover Effect In Memory. Paper presented at the meeting of the Psychonomic Society, Seattle, WA.

Goad, C. Hall, D. & Schmidt, S. R. (2010, November). Delayed Disengagement from Emotional Pictures as Measured by Automatic and Controlled Processing Tasks. Paper presented at the meeting of the Psychonomic Society, St Louis, MO.


Recent  Student Presentations


Custer, N., Ware, T., Meadows, M., Lovette, P., Pollard, S. A., Adams, A., Stephens, J., Schmidt, S. R., & Schmidt, C.R. (April, 2018). To Help or To Do No Harm: How a Nearby Cell Phone Affects Retention and Response Time. Poster presented at the Middle Tennessee Psychological Association Spring 2018 Meeting.

Wilson, K., Ware, T., Thiele, A., Buchli, R., Thepmanivong, N., Bond, M., Rivero, A., Monroe, J., Schmidt, C. R., & Schmidt, S. R. (April, 2017). Mere presence of cell phone’s effect on memory and attention. Poster presented at the Middle Tennessee Psychological Association Spring 2017 Meeting.

Anselmi, A., Brown, S. Gonzalez, C. Nabors, C. Qial, L, Thiele, A., Wilson, K. (2016, April). A Sino-American Cross Cultural Flashbulb Memory Comparison. Paper resented at MTPA, Murfreesboro, TN.

Alexander, B. (2015, April). The effects of Working Memory Capacity on the Isolation Effect. Paper resented at MTPA, Murfreesboro, TN.

Gunther, J., Franklin, S. Slate, T. Goode, B. Coggins, N., & Tucker, T. (2015, April). Inattention and its Effects on Primary Distinctiveness. Paper resented at MTPA, Murfreesboro, TN.

Dunn, K, Ninteman, R., Stern, W., & Schmidt, S. R. (2014). Memory for Unusual Events: Isolated Target in Word Lists. Paper resented at MTPA, Murfreesboro, TN.

Finch, A. R., & Schmidt, S. R., (2014). Effects of Orthographic Distinctiveness on Cued Recall in Pure and Mixed Lists. Paper resented at MTPA, Murfreesboro, TN.

Driver, J. (2014). Working Memory Capacity and Inattentional Blindness in Individuals With and Without Depression. Paper resented at MTPA, Murfreesboro, TN.

Finch, A. R., & Schmidt (2013). Word Recall Disrupted by Emotional Carryover Effect. Paper resented at MTPA, Murfreesboro, TN.

Millikan, M. Driver, J. E., Hughes, J., & Schmidt, S. R. (2013). Working Memory Capacity and Inattentional Blindness in Individuals With and Without ADD/ADHD. Paper resented at MTPA, Murfreesboro, TN.

Hunt, A., & Schmidt, S. R., (2013). Memory for Unusual Events. Paper resented at MTPA, Murfreesboro, TN.

Palmer, G. E., Driver, J. E., Chrisma, L. N., Hughs, J. C., Milikan,  M. C., & Schmidt, S. R. (2012, April). Inattentional Blindness and Working Memory Capacity in Individuals with and without ADHD/ADD.  Paper resented at MTPA, Murfreesboro, TN.

Palmer, G. E., Williams, M., & Schmidt, S. R. (2012, April) Inattentional Deafness and Attentional Engagement. Paper resented at MTPA, Murfreesboro, TN.


Baudo, R., & Schmidt, S. R. (2011, April). Cognitive carry over effect with varying stimuli. Paper resented at MTPA, Murfreesboro, TN

Williams, M., & Schmidt, S. R. (2011, April). The effects of emotional stimuli on working memory. Paper resented at MTPA, Murfreesboro, TN

Baudo, R., & Schmidt, S. R. (2010, April). A Study of Delayed Disengagement of Attention: Pictures Versus Words. Paper resented at MTPA, Clarksville, TN

Goad, C. Hall, D. & Schmidt, S. R. (2010, April). Delayed Disengagement of Automatic Processing. Paper resented at MTPA, Clarksville, TN

Hays, J., Cates, B., Benneyworth, D. Holt, M., Schmidt, S. R. (2010, April).  Does scent have an effect on learning and memory? Paper resented at MTPA, Clarksville, TN

Cassie, D.  J., Roberts, W. M. Rhodes, R. N. Taylor, G. R., Schmidt, S. R. (2008, April).  Separating Distinctiveness and the Emotional Memory Effect. Paper resented at MTPA, Clarksville, TN.

Gibson, L. E., Starchman, A. G., Martin, B. S., & Schmidt, S. R. (2008, April).  The Effects of Emotional Words on Memory for Surrounding Words.  Paper resented at MTPA, Clarksville, TN.