Rebecca Gomez

Rebecca Gomez's picture
Associate Professor



Psychology 426



BA 1985 Philosophy, New Mexico State University

MA 1989 Experimental Psychology, New Mexico State University

Ph.D. 1995 Experimental Psychology, New Mexico State University

Research Interests: 

I study how infants, children and adults learn, how their learning is improved by sleep, and how they connect learning experiences across across time.  I study learning in the context of language acquisition.  I also study the memory processes that enable learners to update their memories with new information.  Many of these processes are used throughout the lifespan so I conduct studies with learners of different ages to better understand how these processes change with development.

If you are a student interested in research experiences please go to the following link

Selected Publications: 


*student authors

Lany, J. A., Gómez, R. L. (in press). Prior experience promotes statistical language learning. In press: Language Learning and Development.

*Sandoval, M., & Gómez, R. L. (in press). Learning of nonadjacent dependencies in natural and artificial languages. Wires Cognitive Science.

Torkildsen, J. V. K., *Dailey, N. S., *Aguilar, J. M., Gomez, R. L., Plante, E. (in press). Exemplar variability facilitates rapid learning of an otherwise unlearnable grammar. Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research.

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

Gómez, R. L., Newman-Smith, K. C., Breslin, J. H., & Bootzin, R. R. (2011).  Sleep, memory, and learning in children.  In B. Stickgold (Ed.) Learning, memory & sleepSleep Medicine Clinics, 6, 45-57.

Hupbach, A., Gómez, R., & Nadel, L. (2009). Episodic Memory Reconsolidation: Updating or Source Confusion? Memory, 17, 502-510.

Hupbach, A., Gómez, R., Bootzin, R., & Nadel, L. (2009).  Nap-dependent learning in infants. Developmental Science, 12, 1007-1012.

*Lany, J. A., Gómez, R. L. (2008). Twelve-Month-Olds Benefit from Prior Experience in Statistical Learning. Psychological Science, 19, 1247-1252. PMCID241477

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

*Lany, J. A., Gómez, R. L., & Gerken, L.A. (2007).  The role of prior experience in language acquisition.  Cognitive Science, 31, 481-508.

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

*Grunow, H., *Spaulding, T. J., Gómez, R. L. & Plante, E. (2006).  The effects of variation on learning word order rules by adults with and without language-based learning disabilities. Journal of Communication Disorders, 39, 158-170.

Gómez, R. L., Bootzin, R., & Nadel, L. (2006).  Naps promote abstraction in language learning infants. Psychological Science, 17, 670-674.

Gómez, R. L., & Maye, J. (2005).  The developmental trajectory of nonadjacent dependency learning. Infancy, 7, 183-206.

Gómez, R. L., & *Lakusta, L. (2004).  A first step in form-based category abstraction by 12-month-old infants.  Developmental Science, 7, 567-580.

Gómez, R. L. (2002).  Variability and detection of invariant structure.  Psychological Science, 13, 431-436.

Plante, E., Gómez, R. L., & Gerken, L. A. (2002).  Sensitivity to word order cues by normal and language/learning disabled adults.  Journal of Communication Disorders, 35, 453-462.

Thompson, L. A., Gómez, R. L., Schvaneveldt, R. W. (2000).  The salience of temporal cues in the developing structure of event knowledge.  American Journal of Psychology, 113, 591-619.

Gómez, R. L., & Gerken, L. A. (2000).  Infant artificial language learning and language acquisition.  Trends in Cognitive Sciences (4) 178-186.

Gómez, R. L., Gerken, L., & Schvaneveldt, R. W.  (2000). The basis of transfer in artificial grammar learning.  Memory & Cognition, (28) 253-263. 

Gómez, R. L. & Gerken, L. A.  (1999).  Artificial grammar learning by one-year-olds leads to specific and abstract knowledge.  Cognition, 70, 109-135.

Schvaneveldt, R. W., Reid, G. B, Gómez, R. L., & Rice, S. (1998).  Modeling mental workload.  Cognitive Technology, 3, 19-31. 

Schvaneveldt, R. W. & Gómez, R.  (1998). Attention and probabilistic sequence learning. Psychological Research, 61, 175-190.

Gómez, R. L. (1997).  Transfer and complexity in artificial grammar learning.  Cognitive Psychology, 33, 154-207.

Gómez, R. L., Hadfield, O. D., & Housner, L. D.  (1996).  Conceptual maps and simulated teaching episodes as indicators of competence in teaching elementary mathematics.  Journal of Educational Psychology, 88, 572-585.

Gómez, R., Schvaneveldt, R., & Staudenmayer, H. (1996).  Assessing beliefs about environmental illness/multiple chemical sensitivity.  Journal of Health Psychology, 1(1), 107-123.

Gómez, R. L. & Schvaneveldt, R. W. (1994).  What is learned from artificial grammars?  Transfer tests of simple associative knowledge.  Journal of Experimental Psychology:  Learning, Memory, and Cognition, 20(2), 396-410.

Housner, L. D., Gómez, R. L., & Griffey, D. C. (1993).  Pedagogical knowledge growth in prospective teachers: Relationships to performance in a teaching methodology course.  Research Quarterly for Exercise and Sport, 64(2), 167-177. 

Housner, L. D., Gómez, R. L., & Griffey, D. C. (1993).  A Pathfinder analysis of pedagogical knowledge structures:  A follow-up investigation.  Research Quarterly for Exercise and Sport, 64(3), 291-299.

Wilks, Y. & Gómez, R. L. (1988).  New Mexico State University's Computing Research Laboratory.  AI Magazine (9)1, pp. 79-94.



*student authors

Hupbach, A., Gomez, R., & Nadel. L. (in press). Episodic memory reconsolidation: an update. In C. Alberini (Ed.), Memory Reconsolidation. Elsevier.

Nadel, L., Hupbach, A., Gómez, R., *Newman-Smith, K. (in press). Memory Formation, Consolidation and Transformation, Neuroscience and Biobehavioral Reviews.

*Sandoval, M., *Gonzales, K., & Gómez, R. L. (in press). The road to word class acquisition is paved with statistical and sound cues.  In P. Rebuschat & J. Williams (Eds.) Statistical Learning and Language Acquisition. Mouton de Gruyter Press.

Gómez, R. L. (2011).  Memory, sleep and generalization in language acquisition.  In I. Arnon & E. Clark (Eds.) Experience, Variation, and Generalization: Learning a First Language (Trends in Language Acquisition Research), pp. 261-276. Amsterdam: John Benjamins Publishing.

Lany, J. A., & Gómez, R. L. (2010). Prior experience shapes abstraction and generalization in language acquisition. In M. Banich & D. Caccamise (Eds.), Optimizing Generalization of Knowledge: Multidiscipinary Perspectives. Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum.

Gómez, R. L. (2009). Processing constraints on learning. In S. P. Johnson (Ed.), Neoconstructivism: The new science of cognitive development, pp. 195-212. New York: Oxford University Press.

Gómez, R. L. (2009).  Learning.  In J. Benson & M. Haith (Eds.), Language, Memory, and Cognition in Infancy and Early Childhood, pp. 290-301.  Oxford, UK: Elsevier Press

Gerken, L. A., Wilson, R., Gómez, R., & *Nurmsoo, E. (2009). The relation between linguistic analogies and lexical categories. In J. P. Blevins & J. Blevins (Eds.), Analogy in Grammar: Form and Acquisition, pp. 101-117. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Nadel, L., Hupbach, A., Hardt, O., & Gómez, R. (2008).  Episodic memory: Reconsolidation.  In E. Dere, J. P. Huston, A. Easton, & L. Nadel, (Eds). Handbook of Episodic Memory Research, pp. 43-56. Oxford, UK: Elsevier Press.

Gómez, R. L. (2008).  Learning.  In M. Haith & J. Benson (Eds.), The Encyclopedia of Infant & Early Childhood Development. San Diego: Academic Press, Vol. 2, pp. 213-224.

Gómez, R. L. (2007).  Statistical learning in infant language development. In M. Gareth Gaskell (Ed.), The Oxford Handbook of Psycholinguistics. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press, pp. 601-616.

Gómez, R. L. (2006).  Dynamically guided learning. In Y. Munakata & M. Johnson (Eds.), Attention & Performance XXI: Processes of change in brain and cognitive development, pp. 87-110. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.

Gómez, R. L. & Gerken, L. A. (2001).  Artificial language learning as a means for investigating language acquisition.  In M. Tomasello & E. Bates (Eds.)  Essential Readings in Language Development, pp. 42-48.  Oxford/New York: Basil Blackwell.