University of Southern California

USC Global Conference

Global Challenges for Humanity
Seoul, Korea
May 23-25, 2013

Mara Mather

Mara MatherMara Mather is a professor of gerontology and psychology at USC.  Mather’s research focuses on how emotion and stress affect memory and decisions and how such influences differ depending on one’s age and gender. She is well known for her research into the positivity effect of older adults’ attention and memory, uncovering findings that suggest this effect is the result of strategic processes that help maintain well-being.

Another of Mather’s innovations is a new arousal-biased competition theory, which aims to explain how emotion shapes memory. Her exploration of stress-induced cognitive differences between men and women made international headlines, with outlets such as TIME, Nature and ABC News covering various aspects of her work.

Her research elucidating the interaction of emotion, cognition, and aging has been recognized with the American Psychological Association Distinguished Scientific Award for Early Career Contribution to Psychology and the Springer Early Career Achievement Award in Research on Adult Development and Aging. Mather also received a National Institutes of Health K02 Career Development award and the Richard Kalish Innovative Publication Award from the Gerontological Society of America. Highly respected as a researcher, mentor and expert, she holds an A.B. in psychology from Stanford University as well as a Ph.D. in cognitive psychology from Princeton University.

Confirmed Panelists