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.