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Almut Hupbach


Chandler-Ullmann room 108

Ph.D. in Cognitive Psychology from the University of Trier, Germany

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Additional Interests

  • Long-term memory
  • Memory updating

Research Statement

My research focuses on understanding the dynamic nature of long-term memory. This basic quality of long-term memory plays out on a continuum stretching between the need to conserve and the need to reform: Whereas relatively stable and fixed core knowledge is essential for successful everyday functioning, the ability to forget unnecessary or outdated information and to update memories in the light of new relevant information is of equal, if not greater importance. To date there is no unifying theoretical account that explains how humans update aspects of their memory while at the same time maintaining a stable core set of knowledge, or mnemonic representations. Indeed, understanding these dynamics constitutes one of the current challenges in cognitive psychology and neuroscience. 

I primarily investigate cognitive processes that critically depend on the hippocampus. The hippocampus plays a pivotal role in the formation of episodic memories. It binds the different elements of experiences to each other and to the spatial contexts in which they occur. I have looked at both episodic memory processes and memory for spatial layouts, as well as their intrinsic interactions. My research has been guided by three basic questions: (1) Memory formation: What conditions during and after encoding promote or impair the retention of episodic details in memory?  (2) Memory updating: What conditions allow episodic memories to be modified and updated with new information? (3) Intentional memory control: To what extent can people control which elements of an experience they will remember long-term?

In addition to advancing basic scientific knowledge, my research has direct implications for the legal sector (e.g., credibility of eyewitness testimonies), education (e.g., optimizing knowledge transfer and integration), clinical practice (e.g., helping individuals with PTSD deal with troubling memories), and societal and political processes (e.g., influencing impression formation and its retention). 


Almut Hupbach received her PhD in Cognitive Psychology from the Universität Trier in Germany in 2000. She worked as a Postdoctoral Research Associate at the University of Arizona (funded by the German Research Foundation) and McGill University before she joined the Psychology Department at Lehigh in 2009. Her research area is human memory. She is fascinated by the dynamic nature of memory and studies the conditions that promote vs. prevent change of long-term memories in children and adults. Several of her projects have been funded by the National Science Foundation. Almut is enthusiastic about sparking students’ interest in research, and frequently publishes with undergraduate and graduate students. Outside of work, Almut is an avid runner (with her dog Luke), and she has taken sculpture classes at the Baum School of Art in Allentown for over a decade. 


Zhang, M., & Hupbach, A. (2022). The effects of variable encoding contexts on item and source recognition. Memory & Cognition

Hupbach, A., Olcaysoy-Okten, I., & Horn, P. (2022) Intentional forgetting in the social domain: forgetting behaviors but not impressions. Journal of Applied Research in Memory and Cognition, 11(4), 522–533.

Zhang, M., & Hupbach, A. (2020). Repeated encoding fosters retention of perceptual detail in visual recognition memory. Learning & Memory, 27, 457-461.

Scully, I. D. & Hupbach, A. (2020). Directed forgetting affects how we remember and judge other people. Journal of Applied Research in Memory and Cognition, 9, 336-344.

Sabia, M & Hupbach, A. (2020). Stress-induced increase in cortisol negatively affects the consolidation of contextual elements of episodic memories. Brain Sciences, 10, 358.

Scully, I.D. & Hupbach, A. (2020). Different reactivation procedures enable or prevent episodic memory updating. Hippocampus, 30, 806– 814.

Dongaonkar, B., Hupbach, A., & Nadel, L., & Chattarji, S. (2019). Differential effects of unipolar versus bipolar depression on episodic memory updating. Neurobiology of Learning and Memory, 161, 158-168.

Hupbach, A. (2018). The Ever-Changing Engram: Towards an Integrated Understanding of Long-Term Memory Dynamics. Memory, 26, 291-293.

Hupbach, A. (2018). Long-term effects of directed forgetting. Memory, 26, 321-329. 

Hupbach, A., Weinberg, J., & Shiebler, V. (2018).  Forget-me, forget-me not: Evidence for directed forgetting in preschoolers. Cognitive Development, 45, 24-30.

Scully, I., Napper, L, & Hupbach, A. (2017). Does reactivation trigger episodic memory change? A meta-analysis. Neurobiology of Learning and Memory, 124, 99-107.

Sabia, M., Hardt, O., & Hupbach, A. (2017). The long-term consequences of correctly rejecting and falsely accepting target-related foils in visual recognition memory. Learning and Motivation, 57, 67-81.

Hupbach, A. (2015). Retrieval practice does not safeguard memories from interference-based forgetting. Learning and Motivation, 49, 23-30.

Hupbach, A., & *Dorskind, J. (2014). Stress selectively affects reactivated components of a declarative memory. Behavioral Neuroscience, 128, 614-620.

Hupbach, A. & Sahakyan, L. (2014). Additional boundary condition of list-wise directed forgetting: The effect of presentation format. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, & Cognition, 40, 596-601.

Funk, A. & Hupbach, A. (2014). Memory for emotionally-arousing items: context pre-exposure enhances subsequent context-item binding. Emotion, 14, 611-614.

Gershman S. J., **Schapiro, A. C.,Hupbach, A., & Norman, K. A. (2013). Neural context reinstatement predicts memory misattribution. The Journal of Neuroscience, 33, 8590-8595.

Hupbach, A. (2013). When forgetting preserves memory. Frontiers in Psychology, 4:32.

Dongaonkar, B., Hupbach, A., Gomez, R., & Nadel, L. (2013). Effects of Psychosocial Stress on Episodic Memory Updating. Psychopharmacology, 226, 769-779.

Hupbach, A. & *Fieman, R. (2012). Moderate stress enhances immediate and delayed retrieval of educationally relevant material in healthy young men. Behavioral Neuroscience, 126, 819-825.

Nadel, L., Hupbach, A., Gomez, R., & **Newman-Smith. K. (2012).  Memory formation, consolidation and transformation. Neuroscience and Biobehavioral Reviews, 36, 1640-1645.

Hupbach, A., Gomez, R., & Nadel, L. (2011).  Episodic memory updating: The role of context familiarity.  Psychological Bulletin & Review, 18, 787-797.

Marin, M.-F., Hupbach, A., Maheu, F., Nader, K., & Lupien, S. (2011). Metyrapone administration reduces the strength of an emotional memory trace in a long-lasting manner. The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, 96, 1221-1227.

Hupbach, A., Gomez, R., & Nadel, L. (2009).  Episodic memory reconsolidation: Updating or source confusion? Memory, 17, 502-510.

Hupbach, A., Gomez, R., Nadel, L., & Bootzin, R. (2009). Nap-dependent learning in infants. Developmental Science12, 1007-1012

Hardt, O., Hupbach, A., & Nadel, L. (2009). Factors moderating blocking in human place learning: The role of task instructions. Learning & Behavior, 37, 42-59

Hupbach, A., Hardt, O., Gomez, R., & Nadel, L. (2008). The Dynamics of memory: Context-dependent updating. Learning & Memory, 15, 574-579.

Hupbach, A., Hardt, O., Nadel, L., & Bohbot, V. (2007). Spatial reorientation: Effects of verbal and spatial shadowing. Spatial Cognition & Computation, 7 (2), 213-226.

Hupbach, A., Gomez, R., Hardt, O., & Nadel, L. (2007). Reconsolidation of episodic memories:  A subtle reminder triggers integration of new information.  Learning & Memory, 14, 47-53.

Hupbach, A., Melzer, A., & Hardt, O. (2006).  The mere exposure effect is sensitive to color information: Evidence for color effects in a perceptual implicit memory test. Experimental Psychology, 53, 233-245.

Hupbach, A. & Nadel, L. (2005). Reorientation in a rhombic environment: No evidence for an encapsulated geometric module.  Cognitive Development, 20, 279-302.

Glisky, E., Ryan, L., Reminger, S., Hardt, O., Hayes, S., Hupbach, A., & Kaiser (2004). A case of dissociative fugue? I understand, aber ich verstehe nichts. Neuropsychologia, 42, 1132-1147.

Mecklenbräuker, S., Hupbach, A. & Wippich, W. (2003). Age-related improvements in a conceptual implicit memory test. Memory & Cognition, 31, 1208-1217.

Mecklenbräuker, S., Hupbach, A. & Wippich, W. (2001). What color is the car? Implicit memory for color information in children. The Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology, 54A(4), 1069-1086.

Hupbach, A. & Mecklenbräuker, S. (1998). Typizitätsnormen zu neun Kategorien für Kindergartenkinder zweier Altersstufen. [Typicality norms to nine semantic categories for preschool children.] Sprache & Kognition, 17, 41-50.


Cognitive Neuroscience, Research Methods, Memory