People » Margaret Thomas

Thomas
  • Professor Emeritus

Thank you to the Special Collections & University Archives Department, University of Central Florida Libraries, Orlando, Florida for providing the photo of Dr. Thomas.

Professor Thomas earned her Ph.D. from Tulane University and joined UCF in 1971. Her primary teaching areas are cognitive psychology and history/philosophy of psychology. Dr. Thomas’ current research interests include: the effectiveness of mnemonic devices in supporting long-term memory; bilingual memory; and perception/comprehension of computer-generated speech.

Her interests related to human factors and applied experimental psychology include: (a) long-term retention and imagery-based mnemonics; and (b) cognitive processing demands of text-to-speech computer-generated speech. With respect to imagery-based mnemonics, she has found that while immediate recall is enhanced, long-term recall is much poorer when imagery-based mnemonics are used, as compared to other study strategies. This appears to be related to difficulty in retrieving the low-probability relationships that imagery based mnemonics often entail. With respect to computer-generated speech, she has found that comprehension is somewhat slower for synthesized speech than for normal human speech. Even when mispronunciations are excluded, this difference remains. It appears to be related to inappropriate modeling of prosody by text-to-speech systems.