Dr Aleea Devitt

Qualifications: PhD; BSc (Hons)

([email protected])

About Aleea

I completed my Ph.D. in Psychology at The University of Auckland. I then spent four years as a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at Harvard University.


Ageing; Human Behaviour; Human Development; Psychology

Autobiographical memory; Future thinking; Imagination; fMRI

Research Interests

How do we think beyond the here and now, reflect back on past experiences, and anticipate upcoming situations? How does age-related memory decline affect our ability to mentally time travel?

My research examines the links between the future and the past - how we use memory to imagine future events, and in turn how thinking about the future alters memory. I also explore how healthy aging influences our ability to remember past events and imagine future scenarios. To answer these questions, I use cognitive/behavioural methods, neuropsychological testing, neuroimaging, and multilevel modelling. Ultimately, by understanding how memory and imagination interact, we can develop ways of enhancing memory accuracy and well-being across our lifespan.

Recent Publications

  • Devitt, A. L., Thakral, P. P., & Schacter, D. L. (2021). Decoding the emotional valence of future thoughts. Cognitive Neuroscience, 1-5. doi:10.1080/17588928.2021.1906638 Open Access version:

  • Thakral, P. P., Devitt, A. L., Brashier, N. M., & Schacter, D. L. (2021). Linking creativity and false memory: Common consequences of a flexible memory system. Cognition, 217. doi:10.1016/j.cognition.2021.104905

  • Devitt, A. L., Thakral, P. P., Szpunar, K., Addis, D. R., & Schacter, D. L. (2020). Age-related changes in repetition suppression of neural activity during emotional future simulation. Neurobiology of Aging. doi:10.1016/j.neurobiolaging.2020.06.016

  • Thakral, P. P., Madore, K. P., Devitt, A. L., & Schacter, D. L. (2019). Adaptive constructive processes: An episodic specificity induction impacts false recall in the Deese-Roediger- McDermott paradigm. Journal of Experimental Psychology: General. doi:10.1037/xge0000577

View all research publications by Aleea Devitt

Papers Taught