In general, our research focuses on human memory, attention, metacognition, and cognitive aging. This includes the strategic control over memory and attentional processes, how value influences memory and metamemory, expertise, visual attention, memory for numerical information, neuropsychological and behavioral models of memory and aging, eyewitness memory, metacognition and decision making, and how various memory disorders influence performance. In addition, we are interested in many applied aspects of learning, memory and cognitive aging.
The memory and lifespan cognition lab uses a variety of methodologies (including laboratory-based tasks, naturalistic observation studies, and structured interviews) to gain a better understanding of how memory and attention change across the lifespan. Currently, our research examines how goals can motivate and improve memory in older adults, through the strategic focus on selectively remembering both objectively and subjectively important information. Our research is supported by the National Institute on Aging.
A new book about the latest research and insight about successful aging is:
Castel, A. D. (2018). Better with Age: The Psychology of Successful Aging. Oxford University Press.
- Highlights how old age is not downhill by illustrating the paradoxes and pleasures of old age, and presents new research about successful aging
- Features personal interviews and insights from Maya Angelou, Bob Newhart, Jack LaLanne, Dave Brubeck, Jared Diamond, John Glenn, and John Wooden
- Shows what activities one can do to age well, how attitudes and expectations about aging are linked to how we age, and ways to enjoy older age
Some recent general audience articles, information, and interviews about “Better with Age”:
- The Future of Aging: Innovative Ways to Help Older Adults Age Well (from California Psychologist, 2018)
- Secrets of Successful Aging: Questions and Answers about “Better with Age” (from Active Over 50, 2018)
- Why You Can Look Forward to Being Happier in Old Age (by Peter Kluger, Time Magazine, 2018)
- Better with Age was named one of the “Best Books of 2018 on Aging Well” by the Wall Street Journal
“This great book is about a subject that affects everyone of us. It’s full of practical suggestions. It’s clearly written: unforgettable examples, no jargon. I guarantee that you will find it fascinating, and that it will change your life.”
“Better with Age is a wonderful book, both highly informative and consistently entertaining. Alan Castel seamlessly combines cutting edge research and fascinating interviews to challenge longstanding myths about getting old and replace them with valuable insights into the secrets of successful aging.”