Lab Updates

Science of Learning Strategy Series: Article 2, Retrieval Practice

Second paper in a series, with Tom Van Hoof and Megan Sumeracki!

“Retrieval practice is an evidence-based, science of learning strategy that is relevant to the planning and implementation of continuing professional development (CPD). Retrieval practice requires one to examine long-term memory to work with priority information again in working memory.”

Invited seminars

Invited seminars

Recently gave invited seminars on brain morphology and innovative cognitive psychology methods at King’s College London and Duke Kunshan University.

Cerebellar tDCS Alters the Perception of Optic Flow

New paper looking at age-related differences in resting-state fMRI activity, by Jean-François Nankoo, Chris Striemer, and collaborators.

“Our results show that anodal tDCS improves discrimination threshold for optic flow perception, but only for left-right motion in contrast to up-down motion discrimination. This result was evident within the first 10 min of stimulation and was also found post-stimulation. Cathodal stimulation did not have any significant effects on performance in any direction.”

Characterising the Cortex: Developing Novel Measures of Brain Morphology to Better Understand Brain​

Dr Christopher Madan gave the weekly seminar for the McGill University Douglas Cerebral Imaging Centre. This talk was focused on work investigating novel brain structure measures to examine aging and the relationship between different measures of cortical structure.

Investigating the effects of healthy cognitive aging on brain functional connectivity using 4.7 T resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging

New paper looking at age-related differences in resting-state fMRI activity, by Stan Hrybouski, Nikolai Malykhin, and collaborators.

“Our age comparisons of network topography and inter-network FC demonstrated a substantial amount of age invariance in the brain’s functional architecture. Despite architecture similarities, old adults displayed a loss of communication efficiency in our inter-network FC comparisons, driven primarily by the FC reduction in frontal and parietal association cortices.”

Emotional arousal impairs association memory: roles of prefrontal cortex regions

“The brain processes underlying impairing effects of emotional arousal on associative memory were previously attributed to two dissociable routes using high-resolution fMRI of the MTL (Madan et al. 2017). […] Here, whole-brain fMRI revealed prefrontal contributions: dmPFC was more involved in hippocampal-dependent negative pair learning and vmPFC in extrahippocampal neutral pair learning.”

Convergent and Distinct Effects of Multisensory Combination on Statistical Learning Using a Computer Glove

“Learning to play a musical instrument involves mapping visual + auditory cues to motor movements and anticipating transitions. Inspired by the serial reaction time task and artificial grammar learning, we investigated explicit and implicit knowledge of statistical learning in a sensorimotor task […] using a computer glove.”

Research Snapshot

Gambling Research Exchange Ontario (GREO) wrote a summary on our recent Addiction paper, take a look!



2020 is coming to a close and I hope you are all able to take a bit of a break.

Looking forward to a more joyous 2021.

Structural complexity is negatively associated with brain activity: A novel multimodal test of compensation theories of aging

“Fractal dimensionality (FD) measures the complexity within the folds and ridges of cortical and subcortical structures. We tested the degree that FD might provide a new perspective on the atrophy-compensation hypothesis: age or disease-related atrophy causes a compensatory neural response in the form of increased brain activity in the prefrontal cortex to maintain cognition. […] Multivariate analyses revealed that the lower FD/higher brain activity pattern was associated with poorer cognition—patterns not present in young adults, consistent with compensation.”

Dr. Madan completed PGCHE and FHEA

Dr. Madan has now officially completed his Post-Graduate Certificate in Higher Education and been certified as a Fellow of AdvanceHE (FHEA).

Deliberate Practice in Simulation-Based Surgical Skills Training: A Scoping Review

Medical education paper in collaboration with Rakesh Patel, and second paper for Mark Higgins!

“Deliberate practice informed SBME interventions appeared effective for developing surgical skills among trainee surgeons, however the reliability of these conclusions was limited by the modest quality of the research studies and the design elements of deliberate practice were inconsistently applied. There was little evidence that deliberate practice led to skills retention beyond 30 days, although participant numbers were low and the quality of studies was modest.”