Eva Kimel


Eva is interested in learning and memory processes, and the dynamics of learning across the life span, starting from childhood. In particular, how learning something now affects memory and learning later, what is needed for efficient learning, which memory aspects are connected and affect each other, etc.

In her PhD, Eva has studied the benefit of implicitly accumulated language knowledge (word structure and syllable frequency) on vocabulary acquisition, reading, memory tasks, and fast lexical priming. She has tested these questions on individuals with and without dyslexia, and discovered that overall individuals with dyslexia (IDDs) benefit less from implicit language regularities. However, when exposure time is limited (e.g. fast reading, recognition or fast lexical priming), IDDs show adequate benefits from morphological knowledge. Thus, they have a representation of this knowledge, but it’s either noisier or less accessible than for individuals without dyslexia. IDDs also benefit less from item frequency, and this might be an explanation for the amply reported finding of reduced verbal Short Term Memory in dyslexia. While it is well established that we benefit from item frequency in memory tasks, Eva showed that series learning does not have a special benefit from the frequency of the items that compose the sequence. Exposure-independent factors, such as the ability to concatenate or “chunk” these items is beneficial to the learning of series.

Eva is now finalizing her PhD publications, analyzing an fMRI data on morphological processing in dyslexia, and testing whether her PhD finding about reduced utilization of implicitly learned statistics in dyslexia can be extended to social processes as well (i.e. formation of social stereotypes).
ELSC-Faculty-Merav Ahissar
Merav Ahissar

“Working memory”